Each fall starts the beginning of a new flu season. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from influenza-related complications every year. To avoid the risk of having flu complications, or better yet, even getting the flu, there are several things you can do to limit your exposure. Here are four easy tips you can follow.
Get a Flu Shot
One easy step you can take to help your health during flu season is to get a flu shot.
When you get a flu shot, you are injected with parts of dead flu viruses that are active for that season. The flu shot causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus so if you are exposed to the virus, the antibodies kill off the virus before it infects you.
Sanitize Your Spaces Often
There are objects we encounter each day at home that are more likely to have the flu virus on them. Items like your keyboard, a telephone, light switches, and door knobs all get a lot of touches by everyone in your family. In your home, you should sanitize these spaces as often as possible with antibacterial wipes or spray, especially during cold and flu season.
Don't Touch Your Face
Your face has a lot of open mucus membranes that can allow the flu virus to enter your body through, causing you to get sick. Your mouth, eyes, and nose are all perfect entries for the virus to use. So, if you keep your hands away from your face, your chance of bypassing the flu are good.
Get into the habit of assuming your hands have the flu virus on them all the time, so you never unnecessarily touch your face.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself in Public Places
Be aware of the public places you go and what you touch. Wash your hands thoroughly when you arrive home from any public place.
If you have to go grocery shopping, sanitize the cart handle, then only touch items you absolutely need to touch. Don't be touchy-feely with everything you see in the store. Don't try on perfume samples, or browse through magazines. Just don't pick up a bunch of different items if you don't need to. Every time you touch something in a public place, you are increasing your chance that you will pick up the flu virus.
When you go to the doctor's office, the pharmacy counter, the mall, or in an elevator, be on the alert to not touch surfaces unnecessarily.
You can use these tips for avoiding the flu, and to help with any type of illness that is passed around through direct contact. Make these a habit in your life and you can stay more healthy during the year.