Influenza, otherwise known as flu, is a common viral disease. Its effects can be mild to severe. What’s unfortunate is that it spreads easily.
Flu affects the young and old alike, but people with underlying conditions are the ones at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Its symptoms include a sore throat, headache, running nose, and cough.
In this article, we are going to discuss the various ways to keep yourself from contracting the flu.
Let us delve into specifics.
Wear a face mask when in public
The flu virus is airborne and easily transmitted from one person to the other. When an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, respiratory droplets are left in the atmosphere, which when inhaled, infect the other person. To protect yourself, you need to wear a mask, especially when in public.
As much as masks provide a barrier against the virus, it is only effective if worn properly. As such, it is advisable to get custom masks that fit properly and gives you much-needed protection.
Wash your hands regularly
Our hands are made to touch. However, this exposes them to harmful bacteria. The flu virus may not survive for days but it can last for 24 hours on surfaces, which is enough time to make you sick.
So, when a person suffering from flu sneezes into their hands then touches a surface, and you touch the same surface within the day, there is a high likelihood of contracting the virus.
It is for this reason that you need to wash your hands with soap and running water regularly. If you have no access to running water, an alcohol-based sanitizer is another great option.
The way you wash your hands is also important. Make sure you clean thoroughly between the fingers and under the nail beds. Also, dry your hands with a single-use towel.
Fortunately, there is a flu vaccine that can help protect people from the influenza virus. The shot that is given on the arm guards against various types of influenza viruses. It is suitable for administration from children as young as 6 months.
14 days after the vaccination the body produces antibodies that help to protect the body against the virus. Getting vaccinated is a good idea considering that it is children who are most affected. However, people who are above the age of 65 have a higher chance of developing complications related to the virus, which is even more reason to get vaccinated.
Avoid touching your face
As stated earlier, our hands are susceptible to contracting the flu virus. When we touch bacteria-prone areas and other contaminated surfaces, we may accidentally touch our faces. Unfortunately, when we touch our faces, the virus can enter the body through our eyes, nose, or mouth. If you must touch your face, make sure you do so after thoroughly cleaning your hands with soap and running water. Also, you can use a clean tissue to do so.
Do not be around people with flu
As stated earlier, flu is airborne and highly contagious. As such, it is best if you stayed away from people who show symptoms of flu because when they sneeze and you inhale the respiratory droplets, you contract the disease.
Unless you absolutely must, stay away from hospitals and nursing homes. These are places where you will rarely miss people who have contracted the virus. Also, do your best to avoid areas with large crowds such as public events and do not use public transport systems
Stay home if you are sick
In case you contract the influenza virus, make sure you stay indoors; that is how you keep other people safe. Flu can be deadly to people with underlying conditions such as heart problems and chronic illnesses like cancer. To protect them, immediately isolate yourself. If in some instances you are required to interact with other people, make sure you wear your mask, regularly wash your hands, and sanitize the surfaces you touch.
Unfortunately, not many people understand the seriousness of contracting flu, despite the fact that it kills. The reason being, a majority of people recover from the illness in a few days. Apart from a sore throat, running nose, and cough, people with flu may also experience fatigue, body aches, and fever.
If you have flu, it is best to seek medical attention. Your doctor will give you an antiviral medication depending on the severity of the flu.