With the arrival of the winter months, the Centers for Disease Control warn that flu season has started unusually early and has already spread across 46 states. To make matters worse, this season’s flu vaccine may not be effective for the strain of the virus that is spreading. The strain to hit the states this season is the B Victoria strain. Unlike its predecessor H1N1, the B strains come later in the season and affect children and older adults, causing more hospitalizations and flu-related deaths.
There are many precautions you can take to protect your family and home from the flu virus. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot as your first line of defense. Those that are most at risk are children and older adults or those with a compromised immune system.
Best Practices and Good Hygiene
One of the best ways to protect against the flu is good hygiene.
- Washing hands with soap and water before and after meals, after using the restroom and after coming home is a good way to limit germs.
- Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Keeping your hands away from your face as much as possible
- Disinfecting surfaces, keyboards, door handles, and light switch plates in your home
- Disinfecting your phone, your phone carries a lot of germs because we are always touching them and putting them down on every surface.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the best things you can do for yourself in 2020 is self-care. Caring for yourself can be monumental in building your body’s resistance against infections and illnesses.
- Eat a balanced diet: Include a lot of color on your plate every day. Eat foods rich in Vitamin C such as bell peppers, citrus, and kiwis.
- Drink plenty of water: Aim for at least half of your body weight in ounces. Water flushes out toxins and maintains hydration.
- Exercise: Do an activity you love for at least 30 minutes each day. Sweating during exercise will also flush our bodies of toxins.
- Manage stress: The more stressed you are, the sicker you can get. Meditating, exercising and breathing exercises all help the mind and body achieve calmness.
- Rest: Getting adequate sleep every day is crucial for our well-being. Try to eliminate blue light from phones and television at least two hours before bedtime. Establish a sleep routine that enables you to sleep and wake at the same time every day.
If you do end up getting the flu this season, try to avoid other people and going in to work. This will help eliminate the spread of the virus. Get plenty of rest and fluids and if your symptoms are severe, seek medical treatment. There are flu medications that can shorten the duration and severity of the flu if taken early.