No one likes getting the flu and it seems to be getting worse every year! Here is what you need to know.
What is the Flu – The flu, also known as influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that is much more aggressive than the common cold. This virus affects the nose, throat, and lungs. The symptoms people experience are a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, headaches, aches, and pains. Depending on how severe your symptoms are the flu commonly lasts two weeks.
How Does it Spread? – The flu virus is spread through someone who contains the virus. When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks droplets fly out. If any of these droplets land near your mouth/nose or something you have touched the virus will likely spread to you.
How to Reduce the Risk of the Flu – Getting a flu shot is your number 1 defense against the flu, but washing your hands with warm water and soap is another great way to reduce the risk. Additionally, when around people who are sick/contagious make sure not to touch your face and disinfect things that they have touched to kill the germs.
Best Time to Get a Flu Shot – Flu season usually starts during the winter months and peaks through January and February. Getting your shot before flu season begins or before it starts spreading around your community is the best way to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Keep in mind the shot does not work overnight! It takes about two weeks to develop the antibodies that are needed to attack the flu virus. This is the reason why it’s important to get it as soon as you can, but even if you do not get it right away it is still beneficial. The CDC recommends anyone over 6 months to get the shot every year.
What to do if you Have the Flu – If you do get the flu this season make sure to take medicine, get plenty of rest, and drink fluids. These three things will help your body recuperate. If you do notice that your temperature is over 103 or you’ve had a fever for over 3 days do not wait it out make sure to see a doctor.
Create a healthier home environment: They say indoor air can contain up to five times more pollutants than the outdoors. When winter temperatures are mild – be sure to open a window, skylight, or sliding glass door to allow fresh air into your home. Learn how Sunrooms, Skylights, and Windows can help cure the Winter Blues here. Another way to help banish indoor pollutants is by investing in an air purifier. Lastly, humidity/moisture in the home attracts mold and mildew which when inhaled causes a multitude of health problems. Places like the bathroom and the basement are huge culprits of moisture! When taking a warm shower make sure to either open a window or use the ceiling vent fan to help keep moisture down and for the basement getting a dehumidifier is a great way to decrease humidity.
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