Flu Season 2019-2020 Begins – Be Prepared!
It’s that time of year again! Time to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the infamous flu season. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the flu “has resulted in between 9.3 million – 49 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 960,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually since 2010.” We don’t want you to be another statistic, so we’ve outlined ways to be prepared and lessen your chance of contracting influenza this year.
First and foremost, we recommend everyone receive the flu vaccine, especially those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly and children 6 months and older. The vaccine can take time to fully build up immunity in your system so it is recommended that you get the shot or nasal spray before flu season is in full swing. During the 2017-2018 flu season, the CDC estimates that 40% of the U.S. population received the flu vaccination which prevented an estimated 7 million flu illnesses and 8,000 deaths. Learn more about the benefits of being vaccinated here.
If you don’t want to get the flu vaccine, there are other precautionary measures you can take to ward off and limit exposure to the germs that cause the flu. Check out these helpful tips below.
Rest up. Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night and maintaining a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables will give your immune system the support it needs to stay healthy. Give your body the best chance to fight off germs by getting in the needed rest to be healthy and strong. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults over the age of 65 should average 7-8 hours of shut eye per night.
Wash your hands. This tip is a bit obvious but important enough to note. Washing your hands with warm water and soap throughout the day, especially after venturing out into public and touching door handles, will help lower your chance of contracting the virus. It is also a good idea to use hand sanitizer if you’re not able to get to a sink to wash with soap and water.
Quit smoking. We recommend doing this for many reasons but especially to better your overall health and avoid complications from the flu. Cigarette smoke is deadly and will often exaggerate a person’s response to illness. A study from the Yale School of Medicine uncovered that when the flu virus interacts with cigarette smoke, there is an increase in lung inflammation and damage. So now is the time to kick that bad habit and get on your way to a healthier you!
Most importantly, always talk with your doctor if you feel as though you’re coming down with something serious. The sooner you get medical attention, the sooner you will get better. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you won’t contract the flu virus but taking these precautionary measures will definitely better your chances of good health this winter. Best of luck this flu season!