5 Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season
Flu season is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean that you can let your guard down when it comes to preventing this potentially serious illness. At MedFlight911, we frequently see patients who have been hit hard by the flu. Since we're in Arizona, they're often snowbirds who have fallen ill while enjoying our winter sunshine, and who then need an air ambulance transport back to their home.
So, while the worst of the flu season is hopefully over, it's definitely still possible to get sick. After all, flu season runs all the way into May. Keep the following five tips in mind to stay healthy and avoid an air ambulance journey of your own.
1. Get vaccinated: Getting vaccinated is an important way to reduce your risk of developing the flu. It's especially important for people in high-risk populations to get vaccinated, including those who are over age 65 or who have medical conditions like asthma and diabetes.
2. Wash your hands: It's the advice your mother always gave you, and guess what? Mom was right. Washing your hands is one of the best way to prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy. Not only should you be washing your hands before eating and after using the restroom, but you should also do so after touching something that might be dirty (like a trash can), after cleaning a wound, before inserting or taking out contact lenses, after touching animals, or if you've had contact with someone who may be sick.
Make sure you're washing your hands the right way. After soaping up, make sure you scrub for at least 20 seconds. Not sure how long that is? Just sing "Happy Birthday" to yourself twice.
3. Eat healthy and stay hydrated: Eating a healthy diet and making sure that you are drinking enough water will help you stay healthy and reduce your chances of developing the flu. Keep in mind that in the winter, some people may end up drinking less water than in hotter seasons. Be sure you're drinking enough water even in cooler weather, and consider herbal tea or hot water with lemon if drinking plain water is not that appealing.
4. Get enough sleep: Sleep is our body's time to recharge. Try to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to give your body time to recover from the day's stresses.
5. Avoid contact with flu sufferers when possible: If someone in your household comes down with theflu, it can be hard to avoid contact with them. But try to keep your distance (within reason). Don't share plates and utensils and wash everything the sick person has used thoroughly after use. Clean and disinfect surfaces at home. Make sure the sick person covers their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Finally, if you do come down with the flu, do everyone a favor and stay home! It can be tough to take a day off of work, but you'll help prevent the spread of germs and will make it easier for your body to heal.