Influenza, also known as flu in a simpler term, is caused by a virus and can be transmitted from one person through another, or direct contact with a contaminated object. It is a respiratory infection that causes high-grade fever, nasal congestion, body malaise, sore throat, muscle ache, and so on.
A lot of people may think that the flu is just as bad as a common cold, but unfortunately, they are wrong. The flu is a serious illness, and people must pay attention and treat it as soon as possible. If you want to prevent yourself or your family from getting flu, then here are some ways on how to prepare for the upcoming flu season.
Know How the Virus Spreads
The virus that causes the flu travels in the air in the form of droplets whenever an infected person sneezes, coughs or speaks. You can breathe in the droplet through direct contact with the sick person, or you can acquire it from a contaminated object and then transfer it to the most accessible entries such as the eyes, nose, or mouth. Keep in mind the flu virus can survive on items such as telephones and cellular phones, doorknobs, handrails, remote controls, desktop keyboards, and others for up to eight hours.
Learn who is at Risk
To prevent yourself from getting the flu, you must know the people who are most at risk. A lot of people can catch the flu and get better on their own, but for others, the flu can be dangerous and fatal because of certain complications. The people who are most at risk are the following: children under 5 years old (especially newborns and infants), senior citizens 60 years old and above, pregnant women, immunocompromised people, people with chronic diseases (such as heart, liver and kidney disease, diabetes and asthma), people with obesity, and nursing home residents.
Get the Shot
The easiest way to prevent catching the flu is to get a flu vaccine. When you get the shot, you don’t only protect yourself, but you also help prevent the spread of the virus. If you have a kid or a high-risk family member, make sure that they get the shot. If you run a company, make sure to require your employees to get the vaccine. It would be better if you include the flu vaccine for workers in their health benefits. It’s a big step in warding off the spread of infection in your workplace.
There are a lot of simple ways that you can do to prevent catching and spreading the flu aside from getting a flu vaccine. First, refrain from getting in contact with sick people. If you’re the one who is sick, keep your distance from others to prevent spreading the virus. If possible, just stay at home and postpone any activities such as going to school or work, or from doing any chores or errands.
Second, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief whenever you sneeze or cough. Third, wash your hands regularly whenever you sneeze, cough, blow your nose, or touch any objects or surfaces. Avoid contact of your eyes, nose, and mouth, if you haven’t washed your hands. Be sure to wash them with soap and for at least 20 seconds.