It’s influenza (flu) season and it’s time to start thinking about what you can do to prevent the flu. Before we tell you how to avoid getting the flu — we want to urge you to not ignore flu symptoms and to not wait to see a doctor if you suspect the flu.
With all the attention on Coronavirus….we thought we’d run our “Prevent the Flu” post.
Do your Best to Prevent the Flu
Fall is the best time to get vaccinated. Flu season runs from October to May, with most cases happening from late December to early March. The flu vaccine is usually offered from September until mid-November. There are at least 4 vaccine types that we hear of most often.
- Seasonal Flu Shot. This is the most often recommended vaccination.
- The nasal spray FluMist, contains a live but weakened form of the virus. It’s approved for those between 2 and 49 who are healthy, not allergic to the flu vaccine and not pregnant.
- Egg free vaccine. If you allergic to eggs, make sure you go to a doctor than can treat an allergic reaction & opt for an egg free vaccine.
- Fluzone for those of you who are over 65.
- Wash your hands. If you need to shake hands, wash or sanitize your hands shortly there after.
- Carry (and use) hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.
- Avoid people who look sick!
- At the health club, don’t assume the person before you wiped down the machine you are about to use.
- Wipe down everything – door knobs, computers, phones, steering wheels, remotes, grocery carts. If you touch it, wipe it down.
- Much of the flu transmission is self-inflicted by what we touch, so take extra care this flu season.
Take Care of Yourself.
Eat healthy (if you aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables — this is a great time to add green smoothies to your diet), drink water, exercise, take your vitamins and get good sleep. If you feel stress — do yoga and/or get a massage. Do whatever you can do to build up your immune system to help prevent the flu.
How do you know if you have the flu?
Flu Symptoms come on very suddenly and may include: fatigue, body aches & chills, fever, cough, sore throat and occasionally gastrointestinal issues.
Please note that influenza is a respiratory illness that usually does not involve gastrointestinal problems in adults. The “stomach flu” is not prevented by the flu shot and is an entirely different virus than influenza.
What to do if you get the flu?
There are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu. If you suspect the flu do not wait too long to see a doctor as the antiviral medications are effective if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Take time to get better, and don’t wait until you are too sick to function to take time off from work.