Right now, the flu is a severe problem in America. Because it is Winter right now, people are often in close proximity to one another (primarily indoors). Unfortunately, the flu spreads easily. Be that as it may, there are things you can do to minimize the chances of catching the flu (or a cold). Here are some suggestions:
- Get a flu shot- although not appropriate for everyone, many of us benefit from getting inoculated. In particular, if your doctor recommends getting it, go as soon as possible to get a flu shot. Anyone who has a compromised immune system is at higher risk for getting ill. If you are not confident as to whether you ought to get a flu shot, just ask your doctor.
- Be physically active- in addition to improving your life and prolonging your lifespan, regular exercise also supports a healthy immune system.
- WASH YOUR HANDS- use soap and water to wash your hands. Be thorough, cleaning them for about 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly and dry your hands with a clean towel. Turn off the faucet using a clean towel/paper towel.
- Get a proper amount of sleep- the immune system works optimally when you have been well rested. Therefore, get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Depending on your specific needs, a little bit more than 8 hours might be beneficial.
- Never share food or drink- be cautious around places where multiple people come into physical/close contact with food. Keep eating areas clean and disinfected.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you- there will be times when you don’t have the luxury of washing your hands. In that case, have some alcohol based hand sanitizer with you. Don’t overdo it. After having used the hand sanitizer approximately three times in a row, wash your hands well.
- Feverish? Don’t go out in public- protect others and save them from misery by remaining at home until the fever has passed.
- Use a medical/surgical mask while in public- if you are sick, you can reduce the probability of infecting others by wearing a surgical mask on your face.
- Sneeze into your elbow area if you must sneeze. If you have tissue or a handkerchief, cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze. If constrained by necessity, cover your mouth/nose using your hands- but make sure to wash your hands ASAP.
- Use antibacterial ointment inside the nose- this may protect you in the event that others around you are ill.
What is the takeaway here? Just use common sense. Stay healthy out there!