We are about to enter flu season, and while it certainly isn’t as fun as the holiday season or baseball season, it is certainly something for which we should all be prepared. If you haven’t noticed already, local pharmacies and doctor’s offices are staring their annual wall papering of town with their “Get Your Flu Shot HERE!” notices.
According to the CDC, “the single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year;” especially for those who qualify as being high risk for developing flu-related complications (children under 5, adults over 65, and pregnant women).
However, good health habits, like covering your mouth when you cough and frequent hand washing, can help stop the spread of germs and prevent illnesses like the flu. Before you get your flu shot (and for general better health the rest of the year) the CDC has shared a list of general health precautions that can help you stay healthier.
- Avoid close contact – Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, keep your distance to help protect others from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick – If at all possible, stay home when you are sick; skip work, school, and errands and you will help prevent other people from catching what you have.
- Cover your mouth and nose – We’ve all heard it all of our lives, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Use a tissue, then throw it away and wash your hands, and you too can help stop the spread of illness.
- Clean your hands – Washing your hands frequently will help protect you from the germs. To see the CDC’s video on the best way to wash your hands, click here.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth – Your mucous membranes (your eyes, nose, and mouth included) are your most vulnerable entry point for germ contamination; germs are most often spread when you touch something that is contaminated and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits – General habits of good health will help keep your immune system stronger and you in good health. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is sick. Get enough sleep, be active, drink enough fluids, and eat healthy food.