10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season
Flu season is upon us, and this year, it's more important than ever to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu. With the added challenge of COVID-19, taking proactive steps to protect yourself, your family, and those around you is crucial. Here are 10 terrific tips to help you navigate flu season like a boss:
1. Wash Your Hands Like a Pro
You've heard it a million times, but we'll never get tired of saying it: washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent getting sick. Throughout the day, you come into contact with many surfaces that could potentially harbor viruses and harmful bacteria. By washing your hands properly, you can reduce the risk of illness. The CDC recommends a five-step hand-washing routine: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry. It only takes a minute, and it's worth it!
2. Hand Sanitizer to the Rescue
If you can't wash your hands, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is the next best thing. The goal is to kill germs, not just reduce their growth. So, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy for those moments when soap and water aren't readily available.
3. Get Your Flu Shot
The CDC recommends getting your flu shot by October, but if you missed out, it's not too late. The flu virus is active all year round, and the flu season doesn't peak until February. So, getting vaccinated anytime before then can still benefit your wellness. Don't worry about side effects; they are typically mild and short-lived. Plus, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop antibodies, so the sooner, the better!
4. Cover Your Cough
It's a simple concept, but it's incredibly effective at preventing the spread of the flu and other illnesses. Always cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, not your hands. Dispose of the tissue properly and wash your hands afterward. If you can't wash your hands immediately, use hand sanitizer as a temporary solution.
5. Mask Up!
Wearing a mask has become a civic duty in the time of COVID-19, but it also helps slow the spread of the flu virus. Even if you don't feel sick, wearing a mask when you're out in public can protect you and those around you. Remember to wear it properly, covering both your nose and mouth, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
6. Stay Home if You're Sick
If you feel sick, whether it's the flu or something else, the best thing you can do is stay home. Going to work or socializing when you're unwell puts others at risk of getting sick too. Take a few days to rest and recover. The CDC recommends staying home until at least 24 hours after your fever subsides without the use of fever-reducing medication, or until your other symptoms have improved.
7. Consult Your Doctor
If you do test positive for the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to help shorten the duration of your illness and reduce the risk of complications. While most people's immune systems can fight off the flu on their own, it's essential to consult your doctor to determine the best course of action based on your unique health needs.
8. Know the Difference
The flu and COVID-19 share many symptoms, making it challenging to differentiate between the two. It's even possible to have both at the same time. If you're unsure, the CDC recommends getting tested for both the flu and COVID-19 to help confirm your diagnosis. Visit the CDC's website for the most up-to-date information on both viruses.
9. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Living through an infectious disease outbreak can be stressful, even if you're not sick. It's essential to prioritize your mental health during this time. Fear, worry, changes in sleep and eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, and worsening chronic health and mental health issues are all common. Reach out for support if you need it, whether it's through crisis hotlines or finding a mental health provider.
10. Talk to Your Doctor
In addition to following these tips, consider talking to your doctor for personalized advice on staying healthy and well this flu season. They can address any specific concerns you may have and provide additional recommendations based on your individual needs.
While following these tips can help you avoid getting sick, if you do come down with the flu, intravenous (IV) therapy can help you recover faster. IV vitamin drips loaded with immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants to support your body's natural healing abilities. IV therapy can shorten the duration of flu symptoms, boost energy levels, and help you bounce back quicker.
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We're all in this together, and by taking these steps, we can help prevent the spread of the flu and protect ourselves and our communities. Stay healthy, stay positive, and let's conquer flu season like bosses!