How to Lower Your Flu Risk

Flu season occurs annually between late fall and early spring. You cannot completely guarantee that you are safe from the flu. However, there are certain things that you can do to lower your flu risk, including:

Flu vaccine

Although the flu shot is not 100 percent effective, it is the simplest and most effectual way of guarding yourself against the flu for persons older than 6 months. You can easily schedule a flu shot with your family doctor. The vaccine is easily available at grocery store clinics and drugstores without an appointment.

If you have had an allergic reaction to flu vaccines before or you are allergic to mercury or eggs, you should speak to your doctor before getting the flu shot. Your primary defense against any infectious disease, including the flu is good hygiene. When you combine good hygiene with a flu shot, you have a better chance of not contracting the flu.

Wash your hands properly

Your hands encounter many things in the environment, such as germs, more than other part of the body. Moreover, they interact with all the passageways such as ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. When you touch the surfaces on a bus, park, or an office, you run the risk of picking up germs. The flu can live on a hard surface for as long as 8 months. To help reduce your risk of getting the flu, you need to wash your hands thoroughly. Whenever you touch questionable items in the office or restroom, wash your hands.

If you cannot wash your hands, for whatever reason, you should buy an alcohol-based sanitizer. It provides an easy way to kill germs when water and soap are unavailable.

Avoid crowds

It is wise to stay away from crowds during the flu season. Although you cannot quarantine yourself for the whole period, you should stay away from crowds because they trap you in small spaces with little or no ventilation. Areas with the highest chance for infection are those with many children and elderly persons. If you must go to crowded places during flu season, do the following:

  • Carry hand sanitizer
  • Don’t touch your mouth too much
  • Distance yourself from sneezing persons
  • Disinfect hard surfaces before you touch them

Disinfect surfaces

You are not safe from exposure to the flu even in your own home. Unlike people, germs will not ask to be invited into your home. Therefore, you need to disinfect counters in the bathroom and kitchen, as they are likely to carry the most germs. In these settings, you are likely to touch your nose, mouth, and genitalia more. If you prepare snacks on a disinfected counter top, you will end up ingesting germs. When children touch any object in your home, you should disinfect it: floors, toys, and walls. You should also disinfect the kitchen sponges in the microwave to avoid spreading germs to your utensils.

What if you get infected anyway?

If, despite your best efforts, you end up being infected, you should get plenty of rest. You also need to drink plenty of fluids to replace lost fluids and flush out toxins. Do not spread the flu once you contract it; when you experience symptoms, avoid work and school settings.

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