Here’s how you can stay ahead of flu season
Flu season is quickly approaching. Here a few quick tips use you can use every day to avoid getting sick:
- Wash your hands
You should be washing your hands often, especially before eating, after using the bathroom and after being around those who are ill. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose, and if you do, make sure those hands are clean.
Dr. James Malow, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, explains, “There are two methods to effectively clean your hands. One can use alcohol hand gels/foam or, two, use soap and water. When using soap and water, the hands should be scrubbed for 15 seconds, which is how long it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.”
- Eat healthy and stay hydrated
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day. Eating a balanced breakfast and plenty of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to prevent sickness, too.
- Get a good night’s sleep
Try turning off your electronic devices before you go to bed so you are not distracted and can get your beauty rest.
- Get vaccinated
Getting a flu vaccination is a simple yet important step to avoid to flu. Contact your physician or seek out your local pharmacy for more information on how to get vaccinated.
“Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to keep from getting influenza,” says Dr. Malow.
- Avoid those who have the flu
Keeping a distance from those who are sick can make all the difference. Limit your exposure to germs that can possibly affect your and your family’s chances of catching the flu.
“The flu season usually lasts for 5-6 months and can start as early as September or October,” explains Dr. Malow.
He also stresses, “If you catch the flu, stay home from work/school to avoid the spread of illness to those around you.”
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.