With extenuating circumstances leaving us continuously worried about COVID-19, it seems as if tasks like taking a COVID rapid test or constantly googling symptoms are at the forefront of our minds. Beyond a standard COVID rapid test or a quick internet search, we need to remember one of the oldest viruses that have plagued the country: influenza. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself against the highly contagious flu.
Get Your Shot
Although this may seem obvious, many folks skip out on this incredibly beneficial vaccine. This is the easiest way to keep yourself and those around you safe. If the flu vaccine is matched to circulating viruses in your system, it can reduce flu risk between 40%-60%, according to Medical News Today. It’s in your best interest to get this vaccine annually, ideally at the beginning of every flu season. In the United States, flu season begins in late September or October, hitting its peak between December and February. If you have allergies associated with any ingredients of the vaccine, such as penicillin, talk to your primary care physician before making an appointment for the flu shot.
Stay Hygenic, Always
It is no secret that bacteria live on every surface of the Earth. While many of these bacteria may be virtually harmless, there are certainly harmful ones living among them. This means that it’s absolutely crucial to practice proper hygiene, especially during flu season. The influenza virus is spread by people coming in contact with an infected person and transmitting itself via coughing, sneezing, talking, or simply breathing. Staying six feet away from someone is recommended, much like COVID-19 protocol, and wearing a mask in public never hurts.
Keep Your Insides Happy
Taking care of yourself is crucial at all times, but paying extra attention to your body’s physical and mental health can be key in avoiding the flu. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, minimally eight hours a night. Also, exercise a few times a week, be mindful of your diet, and incorporate fruits and vegetables as often as you can. Although it’s easier said than done, reducing stress is another great way to boost your immune system.
Both influenza and COVID-19 are serious viruses that we need to be cognizant of. Their symptoms can manifest in very similar ways, so protecting against both is crucial. Keep yourself healthy by paying attention to your body, getting vaccinated, and taking a rapid COVID test often. Stay safe and contact Care Station Medical Group for more information.