As the cold weather settles in, so do the germs that spread illnesses from person to person. Chief among these is the notorious influenza, or flu, which comes around every season and always ends up impacting at least one or two people you know. However, there are several easy ways to guard against the flu virus; take a look at the top six below.
1. Get vaccinated.
Although the flu virus is always adapting and mutating, pharmacists keep up by crafting a new flu vaccine every season. Visit your local pharmacy to get vaccinated at the start of the season; although vaccines are not foolproof, this is a significant step you can take to guard against getting sick.
2. Wash your hands.
The number one way to spread viruses and germs is to touch a surface or person containing that pathogen. As a result, make sure to wash your hands frequently with antiviral soap, especially after coming into contact with public areas or surfaces, such as buses and classrooms.
3. Avoid sick people.
If you have friends or loved ones who are sick with the flu, you can care for them – but keep your distance. They can spread the virus through contact or through the air. Also avoid people likely to become sick (but who may not be showing symptoms yet), such as children or the elderly.
4. Cover your mouth and nose.
Sneezing and coughing spread the flu virus through the air, so make sure to cover your mouth and nose when around people who are having these issues. Even if they are not sick with the flu, you can’t be sure if their coughs or sneezes contain pathogens that will be transferred to you through the air.
5. Stay home when you are sick.
If you feel that you are starting to have flu-like symptoms, stay home and take preventative measures. That way, your body can fight off any initial infection before it gets worse.
6. Keep up your overall health.
Your immune system is your body’s best defense against the flu, so keeping it strong and healthy is key. You can do this by keeping up your overall health – getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of exercise. Also do your best to minimize stress and engage in relaxation exercises.