No one wants to be sidelined by unpleasant flu symptoms. And for some people, getting the flu can be very serious. It can even be life-threatening. The following tips can help you reduce your risk of getting the flu in the months to come. Get your flu vaccine. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over six months of age get a flu vaccine. It’s especially important that health care workers and those who have contact with high-risk individuals get vaccinated. Clean and disinfect surfaces—especially if someone is sick. Microwave handles, bathroom faucets, light switches, doorknobs, and phones are some of the germiest places at work and home.
Anything that is frequently touched should be frequently cleaned. Wash your hands. Handwashing is one of the best ways to combat the flu and other illnesses. Make sure to give your hands a thorough scrub. You should wash for at least 20 seconds after lathering with soap. Be sure to completely dry your hands when you’re done. Leftover water may actually contribute to germ transfer. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.
Keep your hands away from your face. Simply touching a contaminated surface won’t give you the flu. It has to get into your body. Touching your nose or mouth after touching a contaminated surface gives the virus a chance to do so. Take care of yourself. Staying healthy will help your immune system fight the flu and other viruses.
Try to practice these habits:
- Be physically active.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Stay hydrated—water throughout the day.
- Get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
- Manage stressors and take time for yourself.
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- Healthy habits to help prevent the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated September 23, 2020. Accessed January 11, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/ actions-prevent-flu.htm
- Show me the science—How to wash your hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated December 7, 2020. Accessed January 11, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/ handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html