Now that it is September, you’ll likely see ads for cold and flu prevention techniques popping up. That’s because, as we head into fall and winter, the chances of severe illnesses increase. By starting now, you can take preventative steps to keep yourself at a lower risk of illness this year.
Your health is among your most important assets. Protecting yourself from the flu will likely prove beneficial. You can’t eliminate the chances of getting sick. However, you can cut the risks of this happening.
The Threat of the Flu
The 2017-18 flu season was one of the worst in recent memory, and most of us don’t want to see that happen again. Influenza (or the flu) remains an infectious and potentially-deadly illness. It can cause high fevers, nausea, dehydration, congestion, chills and other unsavory symptoms. In severe cases, it can cause organ failure, respiratory problems, and other issues. Even if you catch a mild case, you’ll likely find this a pain to experience.
Preventing Flu Transmission
There’s no way to predict how severe this year’s flu season will turn out. The season will usually last from around early fall to early spring. Prepare now for the chance that a severe outbreak might threaten. You cannot be too careful.
- Receive your yearly checkup. If you have health insurance, your plan should pay for most or all your visit costs. If your doctor can help optimize your health, you’ll likely have better immune defenses.
- Get a flu shot. The yearly vaccine is a safe, effective way to help you lower the risk of transmission. Most health insurance plans will cover the vaccine at little or no cost. Many people receive the shot around September or October. Remember, the shot will not help you once you get the flu. So don't put off getting vaccinated. You must renew the vaccine every year to combat yearly strains of the infection.
- Use germ prevention techniques. Most importantly, wash your hands. Use hot water, soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Keep your personal environment clean as well.
- Maintain your wellness. Eat a healthy diet, exercise and stay hydrated. Take all prescription medication as prescribed. Keep yourself warm. You’ll likely create better immune defenses in this way.
- If you or someone you know become sick, don’t interact with others. Stay home until your symptoms have subsided.
You cannot lock yourself away during cold and flu season. However, you can keep yourself safer when you venture out. With attention to your wellness, you can create better defenses from common fall and winter illnesses.