HEALTH CENTER

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How to Prevent the Flu by Medhat Elsayed

medhat-lower-resTis the season of the flu. For some, the flu will keep them home for a few days, then they get better, but for others, it can be serious, even deadly, if you have a health condition like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. The trick is not to get sick in the first place. Here are the best ways to avoid the flu:

Get Vaccinated

Experts say the single best way to avoid the flu is to get the flu shot as soon as you can. The ideal time is early fall because it takes time to develop antibodies. The vaccine is designed to protect against the flu strains health experts believe will be most widespread each season.

The flu “shot” contains a dead virus. One kind goes straight into the muscle and is approved for people 6 months and older. The other type of shot uses a smaller needle that only goes into the top layer of your skin. It’s available for people ages 18 to 64.

Build a Germ Barrier

It’s easy to catch the flu. When a nearby sick person sneezes or coughs, they send out a spray of virus-laden droplets straight to your open mouth or nose.  You can also pick it up from touching a surface, like the restaurant table where a sick person dined before you. Flu germs can linger on places like tables, counters, decks, doorknobs, and faucets for up to 8 hours.  Be aware of those who are coughing or sneezing around you and avoid them at all costs.

flu-virus-webHow to Build a Germ Barrier

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you shake hands or touch a surface that might be germ-covered
  • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you for times when you can’t get to a sink
  • Bring along disinfectant wipes to clean any surfaces you’re about to touch
  • Take extra care to not touch your mouth eyes, or nose without washing your hands first.

Take Care of Yourself

If you want your immune system to be in good enough shape to fight off the flu and other germs, you need to stay healthy.

  • Eat a balanced diet filled with green leafy vegetables and high-quality proteins
  • Exercise at least 4 days a week
  • Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night

These are the best ways to get your body the strength it needs to fend off an influenza attack. Be flu-free this season!

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.