With the summer season ending and the weather starting to cool down, many people begin to worry about their health and the flu season. It’s that time of the year when most people have to take days off from work and visit the doctor because of flu symptoms.
However, you can avoid flu this year. This doesn’t mean locking the doors to your house and pulling the blankets up over your head until the warm weather comes back. What it means is that you need to understand the flu, how it spreads, and what you can do to prevent it.
Use this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about the flu. You’ll be better prepared to protect yourself and your family, which is particularly important if you have very young children or elderly adults in your life.
What is the Flu?
We all know what the flu is – at least we think that we do. The truth is that most people consider the flu to be somewhat like the common cold, which really isn’t the case at all.
In fact, the flu, also known as influenza, is an extremely contagious viral disease that typically begins in the upper respiratory tract and spreads through the lungs in advance stages.
While the flu can be very serious, and it does claim multiple lives each year in the United States, most people don’t regard the flu as more than an inconvenience.
Most healthy adults can fight the flu, but there are cases that can be very severe and require hospitalization. If you already have a weakened immune system, you could be at greater risk for developing serious complications.
How does the Flu Spread?
The most common way in which people spread the flu isn’t really by shaking hands or touching telephones that other people have used. In reality, most people get the flu when they come into contact with individuals who already carry the germs of flu.
It might sound gross, but people with the flu are likely spraying small droplets of their germs on you, in your presence, or when they’re talking, and this can lead to you getting sick fairly easily. If your immune system is compromised, there won’t be much to stop the flu from taking hold and making you sick.
What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?
A lot of people catch the flu regularly – some even claim to get it once almost every year. While all of these cases may not actually be influenza, there are individuals who get sick quite often in the fall months.
Luckily that doesn’t have to be you if you know how to prevent the flu germs from getting into your body and harming you.
Get the Flu Vaccine
- Many adults don’t believe that they need the flu vaccine if they are in good health. While that might be true in one way – the flu can wreak havoc on anybody’s life. Getting the flu vaccine can prevent you from falling ill even if you come into contact with someone ill with flu.
- If you have small children or elderly relatives or parents, getting the flu vaccine is doubly important since they are most likely to be harmed by an influenza outbreak.
Follow Basic Rules
- It might sound simple, but washing your hands regularly is one of the best things you can do to avoid the flu. If you can’t wash your hands throughout the day, carrying an alcohol-based disinfectant in your car or keeping it at your desk can help too.
- Another thing you can do to stop the spread of the flu is to make sure that you don’t go to work while you’re sick. It can be very hard to skip days at work, especially if you’re busy and under pressure to get something done, but you could be putting the whole office at risk.
- Finally, you need to make sure that you always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Washing your hands after you sneeze or cough is also essential for keeping germs away.