One in five of us will catch the flu this year! In most cases, this means suffering at home for a week or two and then slowly returning to our normal lives. However, the flu is highly contagious and can be serious, even deadly, especially for older people and people with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, weak immune systems, and other chronic health problems.
Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season by following these suggestions.
Prevent the Flu
Get a flu shot. It is not too late to be vaccinated. Call your doctor or clinic. No matter what anyone tells you, you can NOT catch the flu from a flu shot!
Build a barrier against germs. Good health practices go a long way in keeping germs at bay.
- Avoid sick people whenever possible.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes unless you have washed or sanitized your hands first.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat healthy and be active.
- Sanitize common surfaces at home or work.
Know The Symptoms
It is easy to confuse flu with colds and other health problems. Become familiar with flu symptoms. Healthy people with flu symptoms usually do NOT benefit from a trip to the Emergency Department and are better off at home with over-the-counter treatments to ease their symptoms.
Take Care Of Yourself If You Do Get Sick
If you get sick, stay at home and rest! Most otherwise-healthy people with flu symptoms do NOT need to visit a hospital or physician office. With rest and proper care, your symptoms should go away in 5 to 7 days.
- Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won’t make them sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash immediately after use.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub.
- Sanitize surfaces you touch throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss and dehydration.
- Treat fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store.
- Do not return to work or other outside activities until 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines.