Every Fall when the weather gets cool, people start gathering indoors again, and seasonal colds and influenza begin to appear. For young, healthy people these illnesses are little more than an annoyance, causing discomfort and maybe time away from work. However for others, like babies, young children, the elderly and those with chronic health problems, these sicknesses can be life-threatening.
For our own good, and the benefits of those around us, we all need to take every precaution to keep from catching these potentially-lethal germs. Here are some helpful tips on how to stay healthy during cold and flu season:
* Get a flu shot. The cleverest scientists and medical personnel work long and hard every year to develop a vaccine to prevent the strains of influenza most likely to appear during the upcoming flu season. It is important to be protected especially if you are in one of the vulnerable groups: seniors, young children. or those with chronic health conditions.
Even if you don’t fall into one of these high-risk categories, if you’re normally out and about mixing with people on the job, in school, shopping, at church, or dining out it’s a good idea to get flu shot.
* Eat healthy food. Get a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Avoid junk food.
* Get lots of sleep, at least eight or nine hours a night. Being sleep-deprived weakens the immune system and makes you more likely to pick up an infection.
* Wash your hands often using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
* Try to avoid contact with sick people. If you are in a management position, encourage employees to stay home when sick.
* If you are ill with flu'”like illness, remain home and rest for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
* When you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue, or into your elbow to avoid spreading germs around the room.
* Gargle with warm salt water or Listerine twice a day.
* While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to avoid infecting them. Try to keep a week’s provisions on hand so that, if you become ill, you won’t have to leave home and possibly infect others.
* If you do become ill with a temperature, alternating with chills, body or muscle aches , sore throat, runny nose, dry cough combined with tiredness or lethargy, call your doctor. There are antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, which he can prescribe to lessen the duration and the intensity of your illness.
Suffering through an episode of the flu is miserable for even the most healthy individuals. These are ten simple steps to be taken to prevent this illness. Why not follow them and save yourself and others the misery and possibly the danger of contracting influenza during this Fall and Winter season?