5 Tips for Avoiding the Flu

Posted on November 24, 2020

Category: Causes and Prevention

The last thing you’ll want to deal with this season is the flu. And odds are… you’ll catch it if you don’t do something about it. The flu, though it resolves mostly on its own, can sometimes be deadly. Influenza complications can include everything from sinus and ear infections to pneumonia and organ failure. The flu is no joke. That’s why a good defense is always the best offense. We’re going over the best ways to avoid the flu this season. Take the time to follow these steps.

Here are five tips for avoiding the flu.

  1. Get the Flu Shot

Dodging the flu may seem like dodging a bullet, but that isn’t the case. Recent studies from the CDC show that the flu shot reduces the risk of flu between 40% and 60% among the overall population during flu season. The flu shot prevents millions of illnesses and doctor visits each year, as well as tens of thousands of hospitalizations. Without the flu vaccine, our health care system would be bogged down by preventable hospitalizations and visits. Especially during a global pandemic, hospital beds are finite. Do your part by getting the flu shot and saving hospital beds for others.

Plus, when you get the flu shot, you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting those around you. Community immunity starts with you getting a flu shot. Each person who gets a flu shot decreases the number of people who can possibly get sick within their community.

This matters most to vulnerable populations, like infants and the elderly.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

A healthy lifestyle means a strengthened immune system, and a strong immune system goes far. The immune system is designed to monitor and remember all sorts of things inside your body. The stronger the immune system, the quicker it takes to eliminate illness. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help you stay healthy. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night can help maintain a healthy immune system. Regular exercise and minimal stress also help boost the immune system.

  1. Avoid Sick People

The flu is very easily spread. One cough is all it takes to infect someone else. That’s why we recommend avoiding people that are showing symptoms. We’re not saying you should avoid all people this winter, but the less contact you have with viruses, the less likely you are to contract them. If you are sick yourself, stay home as much as you can. Don’t go to public areas where you could spread the flu even more.

  1. Stop the Spread of Germs

It’s sad but true – germs are everywhere. Remember to cover your cough and sneezes into your arms, not in your hands, and throw away those used tissues in the trash. After you’ve coughed or sneezed, wash those hands. It’s recommended to wash your hands as often as possible with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective. Keep those hands clean, germs spread when you touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid this and you’re that much closer to avoiding the flu. Don’t stop after you clean your hands though, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause the flu.

  1. Keep to Yourself

If you spend most of your day surrounded by other peers, whether at work or school, be sure to keep to yourself. Maintain physical distance. Your personal bubble is always your friend. Keep crowded contact to a minimum. And if someone ever offers you a bite to eat, politely decline. Sharing a plate, eating utensils or drinking cup can all potentially lead to sickness. While food doesn’t play a major role in spreading the flu, shared items does. These are all good practices to follow even outside of the flu season.

All of these tips are preventative actions you can do every day to shoo the flu away. Get the flu shot, it’s one of the best ways of keeping the flu away from you, your family and community. If you have further health questions in regard to staying healthy this season, contact your primary care provider. Sioux Falls Urgent Care is always here to help.