Every year, flu season circles around like clockwork. As temperatures drop and people spend more time indoors, the risk of catching the flu increases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at its worst, the flu can lead to hospitalization or even death. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu is by getting vaccinated every year.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated as early as possible. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot before the end of October. However, it’s better to get vaccinated sooner rather than later because it takes about two weeks for the body to develop immunity after receiving the vaccine.
There are many different types of flu vaccines available this season. The CDC recommends that everyone get a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four different strains of influenza. There are also high-dose vaccines available for people 65 years and older as well as intradermal vaccines which use a smaller needle and are given just beneath the skin instead of into muscle tissue like traditional vaccines.
If you’re unable to get vaccinated or are hesitant about getting the shot, there are other ways you can help protect yourself from getting sick this season including:
Wash Your Hands Often & Use Hand Sanitizer
One of the simplest ways to avoid getting sick is by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used. It’s also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth since that’s how germs easily spread from person to person.
Cover Your Cough/Sneeze & Avoid Close Contact
When you sneeze or cough, always use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose then throw it in the trash immediately. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow—not your hands!—and wash them afterward. You should also try to avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay away from large crowds if possible since Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with influenza talk, cough, or sneeze near others who then breathe in those droplets containing new viruses.
Flu season is upon us yet again so it’s time to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick. The best way to do that is by getting a flu shot but there are other things you can do as well including washing your hands often, covering your cough/sneeze, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Following these simple tips can help decrease your chances of contracting influenza this season.
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*This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace consulting with a healthcare professional. Please consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before engaging in any services Speedy Sticks offers.