What can you do to help prevent flu? Even though it is nearing the end of February, we are still seeing cases of the flu here in Lexington, VA and Rockbridge County. Flu season isn’t over yet.
According to the CDC, “the single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.”
Healthy Habits to Prevent Flu
Here are some healthy habits to protect from the flu and stop the spread of germs during flu season.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you’re sick, if possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands often.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Practice other good health habits. This includes regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Also, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating well, exercising and managing stress.
And these healthy habits aren’t just good for protecting you from the flu. They are also very similar to recommendations we’ve seen to protect from many other illnesses and viruses, including the most recent Coronavirus.
The Flu Vaccination
For the Flu Vaccination, the CDC recommends “everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exception.” This really is an important step you can take to prevent flu and keep your whole family healthy. A recent 2017 study showed that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from flu. This could save your child’s life!
You don’t even have to go to the doctor to get vaccinated, though you should make sure you have the “ok” from your doctor to receive the flu vaccine. Many local health departments offer flu shot clinics. You can even get your flu shot at businesses like CVS, Kroger, and WalMart.
Plan Ahead for Next Flu Season
Plan ahead for the next flu season and try to get your flu vaccine by the end of October to best prevent flu. The CDC recommends early fall to allow your body time to create antibodies to protect it from the virus, which takes about two weeks.
Make sure everyone in your household gets vaccinated, if they are able to and their doctor approves it. And practice those healthy habits all year long to keep you and your family healthy and safe.