The CDC estimates that about 8 percent of Americans get the flu every year. This year, with heightened concerns about health, many people are hoping to avoid the flu.
If you’re wondering how to fight off the flu, you’ll want to keep these seven expert tips close at hand.
1. Wash Your Hands
“Wash your hands” has been very common advice this year. The COVID-19 virus is susceptible to hand soap, which makes washing your hands one of the best ways to protect against infection.
“Wash your hand” is also great advice for flu season. It’s something you should adhere to every year during cold and flu season.
Wash your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. You should also wash your hands after touching surfaces and before touching your face.
Scrub your hands for 20 seconds, which is about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
2. Avoid Touching Your Face
The flu virus can infect you once it gets into your airways. This can happen if you happen to touch a surface with the virus on it, then touch your face.
Your nose and mouth are particularly susceptible. Washing your hands is a great way to prevent spread this way. You should also avoid touching your face as much as possible.
It isn’t always possible to wash your hands after touching a surface. Keeping your hands away from your face can reduce your risk.
3. Wear a Mask to Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Masks have been recommended by the CDC and the WHO as a way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. They’re also effective in reducing the spread of other viruses, like the flu.
Wearing masks can help protect you and everyone around you. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release the virus into the air. You can then breathe it in.
If you’re wearing a mask, it’s much more difficult for the virus to get to you. If the infected person also wears a mask, there’s even less of a chance for the virus to pass between people.
If you don’t have a mask available, then be sure to cover coughs and sneezes as best you can. Sneeze or cough into your elbow. You don’t want to cough or sneeze into your hand, because you may then touch your face or a surface.
Some viruses can still be transferred through activities like talking, so a mask offers you the best protection.
4. Get a Flu Vaccine
The best flu prevention is actually the flu vaccine.
The flu mutates very fast, so researchers are often using dominant strains from a previous year to make the vaccine. They estimate which strain will be most common for the upcoming flue season.
In some years, they get it right. In other years, a different strain becomes dominant or a mutation happens.
Even when this happens, getting a flu vaccine can make any case of the flu you happen to pick up milder. If you’re lucky and take precautions, you won’t get sick at all.
Contrary to popular belief, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Vaccines work by activating your immune system to create antibodies. Any symptoms you experience are proof the vaccine is helping you create antibodies.
5. Keep Your Distance from Others
If you want to avoid the flu altogether, then one of the best things you can do is keep your distance from other people.
Wearing masks can help reduce viral transfer, but so can keeping your distance. Guidelines about staying six feet apart are just as applicable for colds, flu, and other viruses.
Try to maintain physical distance from people who aren’t within your social bubble. If you do need to be in close contact, masks can offer an added layer of protection.
If you know someone is sick, try to minimize or avoid contact with them.
6. Disinfect Surfaces
Another method for how to fight the flu is to look after the environment around you. Viruses like the flu can live on surfaces. So, when someone sneezes into their hand, then touches a doorknob, they’ve deposited a lot of virus on that surface.
The virus can then be transferred to your hand, and then to your mouth or nose if you touch your face before you have a chance to wash your hands. If you’re wearing a mask, you could still deposit virus on the mask.
Different viruses can live for different lengths of time on certain surfaces. Even hours or days after someone touched that doorknob, there could still be live flu virus on it.
Disinfecting surfaces can help keep you and everyone else safer this flu season. Try to disinfect doorknobs and other high-touch surfaces on a regular basis. If you share equipment like keyboards, telephones, or other devices, be sure to wipe them down after use.
7. How to Prevent the Flu by Looking After You
If you want to be prepared to fight off the flu, you should also take stock of your own immune system. Getting the flu vaccine is one step, but you can do more to improve your immunity.
Getting the plenty of rest and exercising often are helpful in improving immunity, as well as your health on the whole.
If you’re looking for more tips to boost health and immunity this flu season, you can visit this website. You can fight the flu and be healthier while you do it!
More Advice for a Healthier You
There’s no shortage of tips for how to fight off the flu this season. These seven expert tips can help you avoid the flu and stay healthier overall.
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