It’s the Ber-months! Do you know what that means?
Well, it means that Christmas is coming soon and that 2021 is nearing its end.
Sadly, it also means that it’s once again flu season. And sadly, the flu virus is highly contagious. While some cases are minor, some flu cases become more serious, and some even end up being life-threatening.
What can you do so you don’t end up Googling “urgent care Begenline” or “urgent care West Orange?”
Read on for some things you can do to help contain this virus.
What’s the flu?
The flu is basically a virus that causes respiratory infection. Anyone can get the flu virus. It’s easily confused for the common cold, but you can tell the difference by how sick a person gets.
You might have the flu if you have these symptoms:
- body aches
- runny nose
- sore throat
These symptoms can disappear in a week or so. If you have a pretty strong immune system, you’ll most likely recover without any complications. But if you have a weaker one, or if you have certain conditions, the flu might be dangerous for you. Flu can get complicated especially for older adults.
The flu is highly contagious, meaning it easily spreads from person to person. It often passes through the air. And because it easily spreads, you won’t know how you got it. For example, if someone with the flu near you coughs or sneezes, you can get infected. You can also get it when you touch the same thing an infected person has touched.
And the bad thing about it is that you won’t necessarily feel any symptoms immediately, but you might already be contagious or have it.
How do you stop or prevent flu?
So now that we know that flu can easily be spread and that it might be bad for some people, what can we do to try and prevent the spread of flu as much as possible? Here are a few ways.
1. Get your flu shots.
Prevention is the best method of avoiding the flu and its serious complications. Flu shots are the best way to help protect yourself and your family from catching the flu and spreading it to others.
In fact, the CDC recommends getting flu vaccines yearly as the first step to protecting you and your family.
The vaccine helps reduce the burden on the health care system as well. So not only will you be helping yourself and your family out, you’ll also be making sure doctors and nurses everywhere will not be overwhelmed by flu patients in various hospitals.
Those who should get the shot specifically are young children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes. Take note that babies younger than six months are too young to be vaccinated. Also, if you’re a health care worker or work with people at higher risk, get the shot to protect the people around you.
If you want a shot of the flu vaccine, you can visit Diligent Urgent Care. Giving the flu shot is one of our services.
2. If you have the flu, stay home.
If you think you might have the flu, the best thing you can do is to stay at home. Remember, flu is highly contagious. If you stay at home, you can fight it there without spreading your germs to others. In fact, be pro-active: as soon as you have symptoms, call in sick! You don’t want to be spreading the flu to your classmates or co-workers, right?
If you have other people with you at home, try to isolate in one room only. Don’t interact with them as much as possible to prevent infecting them. Make sure to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough. If you’re using a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw it immediately in the trash.
Talk to your doctor and ask for medicines you should and can take, in case you feel uncomfortable. Just take advantage of the fact that you can’t go out by just reading, watching Netflix, or just catching up on sleep.
3. Wash your hands often.
One annoying fact about the flu virus is that it can live on hard surfaces. That means if you touch something that an infected person has touched, you can get the virus. Surfaces can be any of the following:
- Light switches
- Table tops
To prevent this, wash your hands often, especially if you have been in public places. If soap and water is not immediately accessible, bring along a bottle of alcohol or sanitizing gel. Clean your hands often throughout the day, and even at home.
Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, after you cough or sneeze, before wearing your contacts, before applying makeup, and before eating.
And of course, not only should you wash your hands, make sure not to touch any part of your face. The virus can enter through your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Hand washing is easy protection, so make sure you program yourself to make it a habit.
4. Avoid large crowds.
This might be easier said than done, especially as holidays draw near, but try anyway. Why? Well, in large crowds, it’s hard to know who has the flu virus. Anyone coughing or sneezing nearby can infect you. Even if it’s not anyone near you, remember that the virus can travel through the air. You’ll never know that you got infected until you get the symptoms.
If you cannot avoid being in large crowds, wear a mask for protection. This is especially if you are immuno-compromised.
5. Keep your immune system up.
Flu may be hard to avoid but our bodies have a built-in defense: our immune system. We have to keep our immune systems up. It’s the best way to protect ourselves against the flu virus. And if ever we do become sick, a strong immune system will fight off the virus better and will reduce the severity of the sick feeling.
So how do you strengthen our immune system? One way is to make sure you get enough sleep, at least seven to eight hours a night. Exercise for thirty minutes a day, three times a week. And make sure you’re eating fruits and vegetables. Avoid eating junk food and sugary snacks.
Diligent Urgent Care: for your Union City urgent care needs
Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid the flu as much as possible. But again, since the flu is contagious, there’s no 100% chance of success.
Do you have flu symptoms or know anyone who does? If you feel that your condition is serious, do not hesitate. Make plans to visit Diligent Urgent Care at once so we can attend to your condition as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with us today.
However, if you feel that you need urgent care near Union, NJ immediately, please do note that we also accept walk-ins.
We look forward to helping you or your loved ones deal with the flu, as well as other illnesses or injuries that you may have.