Flu season is approaching. That means it’s once again time to arm yourself and your loved ones with the knowledge and savvy necessary to avoid the virus this year. The flu can be a debilitating, or even potentially dangerous illness, especially for people with weaker immune systems like children and the elderly.
You may not have the ability to completely avoid contact with flu germs, but there are proven and effective measures to protect yourself and others around you from feeling their full impact. It’s simply a matter of promoting healthy behaviors and acting quickly if symptoms should strike. We’ve provided some tips below to help keep you and the people in your life healthy all through the upcoming flu season:
A simple way to try to prevent the flu virus is keeping up with your immunizations. A flu shot not only helps protect you from the flu, but contributes to stopping the spread of the virus. Flu vaccinations drastically reduce the number of flu illnesses as well as the doctors’ and hospital visits they require. At Abraham Family Medicine, we recommend for any person above age 6 to receive a flu shot before the end of October.
Don’t Hesitate if you Feel Symptoms
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between the flu and more common general illnesses like a common cold. We recommend seeking medical advice quickly if you begin to show flu symptoms. These may include fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, headache and fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common. If you come down with the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat the illness. Antiviral drugs can limit the time you are sick and help stifle the effects of the virus. It’s especially important for people more vulnerable to the flu (like people 65 and older) to start taking antiviral drugs before their symptoms become severe to avoid hospitalization or more serious complications.
Prevent the Spread of Germs
Flu germs are spread through an infected person sneezing and coughing. The virus can be passed from person to person this way and it can also be left on a surface and transmitted when the next person comes in to contact with it. The first step in limiting the spread of germs is consistent and thorough hand washing. Avoid unnecessary touching of your eyes, nose and mouth. Try to cough and sneeze in to a tissue if available, and dispose of the tissue immediately. Lastly, we recommend cleaning surfaces at home like countertops and door knobs regularly to prevent potential flu germs from accumulating.
The flu can be very serious, so we strongly recommend following these tips to help ensure your health and safety during the long flu season. Contact Abraham Family Medicine today for more information on the flu or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your flu immunization. With over 50 combined years of experience, Dr. Ben Abraham and his highly trained medical team have the expertise and answers you can trust.