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Know the difference between a cold and flu

How to prevent the flu?

Each year during the winter season, millions of people are affected by the seasonal flu. Influenza or the flu is caused by viruses which can easily spread from one person to another. Flu is a mild illness for most, however, for older people, the flu can turn out to be life-threatening especially if they are suffering from diabetes or heart diseases. The seriousness of the disease varies by person, but in the coming months, the COVID-19 pandemic has given us a new urgency to protect ourselves since both of these viruses are on the rise. 

How can the flu spread?

The flu can spread from one person to another through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. The droplets in the air can travel up to 6 feet and you are exposed to the flu virus once the droplets land on your face or mouth. You can also get the flu from the places such as doorknobs, desks and countertops where the droplets can land. 

Know the difference between a cold and flu

Common cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, it is therefore common to confuse between the two. Following are the symptoms of either of the diseases:

  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body pain

The symptoms of flu are however more severe than the common cold. A distinctive difference between the two is that what they can lead to. The flu can lead to diseases such as sinusitis, pneumonia, sepsis and ear infection. You must confirm if you are experiencing any of severe symptoms. Internal Medicine Doctors in Homer Glen will run tests and check for the underlying cause of your symptoms. During the COVID-19 epidemic, you must call in advance to know and abide by the protocols of visiting a family doctor in Homer Glen. Controlling the seasonal flu has become a matter of importance due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. 

How to avoid the flu?

Avoiding the seasonal flu is tricky especially because of the nature of the virus. However, some effective ways can help in avoiding getting sick. 

Get the flu shot:

The most effective way of protecting oneself is getting the flu shot. One such flu shot can protect against three to four types of viruses. You will have to visit the office of your primary care provider to get the flu shot. Due to the pandemic, more flu vaccines are likely to be available in the US. A person older than 6 months can get this flu shot. 

Maintain Hygiene:

Good hygiene habits can help you defend the flu. Following a few simple steps will provide the necessary protection against the spread of the virus. 

Avoid contact: When you are not well you must stay at home so that contact is avoided. When you come across an unwell person you must offer help but only from afar. 

Do not touch mouth, eyes or nose: Try not to touch your mouth, eyes or nose without washing your hands first. Regularly washing your hands with soap and water or sanitising them especially when you are unwell is required. 

Cover your mouth: Especially when you sneeze or cough. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Disinfect surfaces: This should be done specially for the surfaces that are touched by several people at home, school or at work. 

Augment the Immune system:

Your immune system will protect from infections only when it is functioning properly. The functionality of the immune system can be disturbed by certain disorders and medications. You can boost your immune system by these simple steps:

Eating a healthy diet

Exercising regularly

Reducing stress level

Sleeping for at least 7-9 hours 

Maintaining a moderate weight

Prevent COVID-19

The measures that can help you in avoiding the flu can also protect against the Coronavirus that is responsible for the COVID-19 disease. You must note that the virus causing the seasonal flu is different from the virus causing the COVID-19 disease. For any doubts and queries regarding your health, you must consult Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti of Suburban Wellness. It is also not necessary for you to leave the comfort of your home for consulting a doctor. You can easily use the telemedicine services powered by PatientMD for the same.

There are no hard and fast rules that can guarantee your protection against the flu. All you can do is boost your immune system while reducing your exposure to the virus thereby reducing your chances of getting the flu.