Take Care Of Your Loved Ones During Flu Season
The flu can spread like wildfire during flu season (hence the term), and often times once one member of the family catches it, the rest of the household does as well. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that the flu virus gets spread days before any symptoms appear in the person infected. It also remains contagious for up to seven days after the person gets sick, giving the virus a large window of time with which to spread. Luckily, there are some very effective methods you can use to protect yourself and the ones you love during flu season this year and for years to come.
- Get a Flu Shot. There is no more effective way to prevent the flu than getting you and your family vaccinated.
- Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and often. Scrub for a full twenty seconds with warm water to make sure you kill most of the germs. This is especially important after using the restroom and before meals.
- Avoid contacting your face with your hands. Flu germs can live on hard surfaces for up to eight hours, so even if you are washing your hands often, there is a good chance you can still come in contact with germs when you are anywhere around other people.
- Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes. The flu virus lives in an infected person’s saliva, so it is very important to cover any coughs or sneezes to prevent those germs from coming into contact with other people. Carrying around a small bag of tissues can be extremely useful if you find yourself under the weather.
- Keep your distance from infected family and friends. Aside from the person caring for the sick family member, others in the household should stay away from the infected as much as possible. Whenever contact is necessary, wear a germ mask and wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Clean and disinfect the home. Flu germs can stick around in many areas of the home like countertops, door knobs, kitchen utensils, sponges, towels, and so-on. Throw away old sponges, wash towels, and use a good disinfectant cleaner to sterilize hard surfaces in public areas around the house.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Healthy, all natural foods like fruits and vegetables go a long way in keeping your immune system healthy and your body feeling good. Getting plenty of sleep and exercising regularly also contribute to a healthy immune system.
Following these guidelines may not completely prevent you from getting the flu, especially if people in your household get it. However, being proactive can certainly go a long way to keeping you healthy not just in the winter but year round!
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Summer Stevenson has worked for CARE INC as a Personal Care Assistant since 1995. Here is her story about pursuing a career of helping others.