It is time for the cold and flu season again with the temperature going down. Getting a flu shot this year is important more than ever. It's not going to protect you from Covid-19, but it can decrease your risk of getting the flu. You can also avoid having to visit a hospital to get your flu shot, which keeps nurses and physicians available to care for Covid-19 patients. The flu caused by the influenza virus is a highly contagious respiratory disease that every winter sends Americans into panic mode.
The flu season starts from October, peaks somewhere between December to February, and may last as late as May to June in the US. As the symptoms of flu: Fever, Runny nose, Body aches, Coughing, Fatigue, Sore throat are all super close to that of COVID-19, controlling the spread of the flu has now become more important than ever.
As per the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 35.5 million people suffered from the flu during the 2018- 2019 flu season, resulting in an estimated 34,000 deaths.
Now, we will explore some of the ways you can apply to avoid catching the flu and any other viral infection:
Go For Your Flu Shot
A seasonal flu shot protects during a specific flu season against at least three to four types of viruses that medical researchers say will predominate. In the month of September or October, the CDC advocates getting a flu shot, but you can get one at any time of the season. You need to go to your doctor's office to get your flu shots in the upper arm.
Strengthen Your Immune System
During the flu season, consuming an immune system enhancing diet goes a long way. Include antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and blueberries, in your daily diet to reinforce your body’s inner shield against the flu. Focus on fermented probiotic-rich foods such as tempeh, yogurt, and kefir that can buildup the immune system through nourishing the gut. Eating antioxidant-rich products can benefit the whole body: Exercising moderately to frequently Maintaining a moderate BMI Monitoring and reducing stress and anxiety levels. Getting ample sleep 7–9 hours each night. In case of any flu symptoms, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD at Curewell Medical Center. The flu vaccination can be given to anyone older than 6 months. The vaccine reduces the number of infections to a large degree every year and saves lives. If you want to get treated at home, you may also visit the physician over audio, video, or chat via the Telemedicine services by PatientMD.
Good Hygiene Habits are a must
Like a balanced, all-inclusive diet, it is a must to practice good hygiene habits to defend yourself against the flu. It is highly contagious and can easily spread to someone within 6 feet by droplets produced while sneezing, coughing, or even talking, or by touching a contaminated surface. Furthermore, these facts emphasize the need to practice good hygiene at home, workplaces, and public areas as soon as you begin to experience the symptoms of the flu. Given below are a few simple steps that can help minimize the spread of flu and other respiratory viruses: Avoid crowds and close contact with others Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue while sneezing or coughing, and wear a mask Keep your hands clean by washing them often, use sanitizers Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth often Keep your toothbrush at a separate place Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly Maintain distance at least six feet from others
From a 2012 research-study, it was found that wearing surgical masks and practicing good hygiene reduced the spread of flu symptoms up to 75 to 80% in university dorms.
You are not only protecting yourself from the flu but also those around you when you get a flu shot. It is easy to get a flu shot. Just make an appointment to get a flu shot at your convenience.