Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious infection that affects parts of the respiratory system, including the nose, throat, and lungs. Most of the time, symptoms of the flu resolve without treatment, but sometimes, influenza and its complications can be deadly. You can have both flu & strep Sugar Land and the risk is higher in older adults, people with weakened immune systems, and children under two years. The best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potential complications is to get an annual flu vaccination. Below are other steps to protect yourself and others from the flu.
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Avoid close contact
The flu is contagious, meaning you can contract the infection from an infected person or transmit it to a healthy person. For this reason, it is best to avoid close contact with sick people and keep your distance from others, so they don’t get sick. You want to wear a mask whenever you are in a public place during flu season, especially if you have a weak immune system.
Clean your hands regularly
The flu can live on hard surfaces, making it necessary for you to get into the habit of regularly cleaning your hands. This is especially vital before handling foods or eating. Ensure you wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, especially uncooked ones. You also want to ensure you clean your hands with soap and water after every bathroom visit.
Sometimes soap and water may not be available outside your home, so it helps to carry a bottle of hand-sanitizing gel with you to sanitize throughout the day. You should sanitize your hands after coming into contact with surfaces such as doorknobs, counters, and light switches.
Besides cleaning your hands regularly, make a conscious effort not to touché your mouth, eyes, or nose. While the flu virus is airborne, it can also enter when you touch your face with infected hands.
Get an annual flu shot
The predominant circulating flu virus is different each year, making it necessary to update your vaccination annually. The vaccine takes effect after about two weeks. Most people who get the flu after vaccination have less severe symptoms and a shorter duration of the illness. If you are older than 65, you are at risk of flu complications, meaning you should get your vaccination early in the season. Healthcare providers recommend getting a high-dose or adjuvant vaccine to build a stronger immune response to vaccination.
Keep surfaces clean and disinfected
As previously mentioned, the flu can live on surfaces. Therefore, you can reduce the chances of contracting the infection by ensuring all surfaces in your house are clean and disinfected. By now, many people may have gotten into clean and hygiene practices ever since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pay close attention to high-touch surfaces such as telephones, toys, doorknobs, and light switches; clean these surfaces several times daily. An infected person should stay away from others to avoid spreading the flu. If you are the care provider, take protective measures such as wearing a surgical mask or gloves when attending to them. You also want to wash your hands afterward.
If you develop any flu symptoms, visit your doctor at St. Michael Elite Hospital for treatment to reduce the symptoms’ severity and shorten the flu’s duration.