Even if you think you’ve got the healthiest immune system of anyone you know, sometimes there’s just no way to avoid the flu during the height of flu season.
Even if you’ve told yourself you’re going to make all the right moves — washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick — the stark reality is that people get the flu all the time and in great numbers. In fact, the Center for Disease Control estimates that anywhere from nine million to 45 million Americans have some kind of flu-related sickness each year.
If you’ve had the flu before you know all the symptoms and none of them are good:
- A feeling of malaise
- Stomach cramps and pains
- Diarrhea and vomiting
The CDC also estimates that at least 200,000 people end up in the hospital or at an urgent care center due to complications from the flu every year. All this probably leaves you wondering just what the heck you’re supposed to do to avoid the flu, especially since the flu season can last until mid-spring in some years.
How To Avoid The Flu During the 2019-20 Flu Season
One of the best healthcare tips for flu season is getting a flu shot. The CDC recommends that anyone who’s at least six months old should get a flu shot every year. This isn’t a cure-all to avoiding the flu, but getting a flu shot — even if it’s at your local urgent care center — can help boost your immune system. Even if you get the flu, it can lessen the severity of the symptoms mentioned above.
Another easy way to make yourself healthier is to practice good hygiene habits. Whether you get a flu shot or not, it’s important to do a lot of little things when it comes to hygiene and healthcare. That means staying home from work or school if you’re not feeling well and trying to avoid close contact with friends, family, and co-workers who are sick. It also means washing your hands and trying to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when your hands are dirty. Cleaning and disinfecting high-contact surfaces such as the desks in your office is another great way to stop germs in their tracks.
It’s also important to keep up your body’s natural immunity. You can keep your body in tip-top shape by reducing your stress levels (as much as possible), getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Taking a multivitamin is another good step to start practicing. Loading up on flavonoids, which can be found in red wine, blueberries, and black tea, is another.
Another key healthcare step you can take to protect yourself against flu symptoms is to not smoke or quit smoking. This not only keeps you and family members healthier overall, but it saves your immune system. Smoking can significantly hinder your body’s ability to fight illnesses of any kind and flu symptoms can send your body into overdrive when it comes to fighting to keep you healthy.
By using the tips mentioned above, you can better protect your body when flu season rolls around. When it comes to flu shots, you might be wondering when the best time is to get one. There’s no one best answer for that but the general consensus from health officials seems to be that the best time is around the end of October, assuming that flu season usually stretches into mid-spring.
If you visit an urgent care for a flu shot, know that there are several types available. More than likely, you’re going to just get a standard flu shot, but there are also high-dosage flu shots for older folks, nasal flu sprays, and even flu vaccines that don’t require the use of the flu virus (most flu shots contain an inactive strain of the flu virus).
You can never be too careful when it comes to flu season, so the best course of action is to do all you can to stay healthy. When you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to Care Station Medical today.