At least once in our life, we all have experienced the flu. Runny nose, fever, cough, headache and muscle pain! This viral infection is mostly self-limiting as it allows us to return to our normal selves within 2-3 days of taking the prescribed medicines.
The flu is not considered a serious illness mainly because it rarely requires hospitalization. But, if you are afraid of this simple flu, you are probably right in doing so, as it can be severe at times. Adults have a greater risk of acquiring the flu compared to younger people.
Bacterial Pneumonia, dehydration and deterioration of other medical conditions such as diabetes and heart failure are some of the serious flu complications mostly seen in older people. It has been found that about 50-70% of the flu-related hospitalizations are of the people above 65 years of age. They also account for about 70-90% of flu-related deaths.
It is usually best to consider the flu seriously and take a few simple precautions to avoid a bad situation. Here are the 5 precautions which you must take this season to escape this flu-trap.
Get all the younger children, older people, pregnant women and anyone who has a weakened immune system vaccinated. The best time to get vaccinated in India is in October, before the start of the flu season. This is recommended by the WHO itself. The vaccine gets activated within 2 weeks and its effect stays for a year.
The vaccine is extremely safe and useful as the viruses have been inactivated. You may acquire a slight fever after the vaccine, though it can never cause the flu. You may get the flu even after getting vaccinated because the vaccine does not contain protection against the dozens of flu viruses out there. Nevertheless, if you still acquire flu, the severity of the disease will be lower and less complex.
Keep your hands clean
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water and then dry them with a clean single-use towel. Clean hands will not only protect you from the flu, but also from a number of other infections such as stomach infections.
It is a healthy practice to wash your hands before and after eating and after coughing or sneezing. You must also wash your hands after you come home from outside as you are likely to touch a number of commonplaces and acquire lots of germs and viruses.
Keep a hand sanitizer bottle with you in your bag. It comes very handy when you are traveling and you don’t have access to soap and water. Buy a hand sanitizer online and save yourself from contagious diseases like cold, flu and some more.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Our eyes, nose, and mouth are easily susceptible to germs and this is the most common way they enter our body. By keeping our hands away from your face, you can reduce the risk of flu and infections from the invisible germs residing in your hands. You can even get an eye infection by touching your eyes with unclean hands.
You can’t control yourself from inhaling the germs in the air but avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands. Or if you do, then remember to wash your hands or clean them with a tissue first.
Keep a distance from sick people
Flu is highly contagious. You can easily get hold of it from the people around you, especially if you are in a crowded place or traveling in public transport. Children often pick it up from schools.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the contaminated droplets can travel as far as a meter. Anyone who breathes in can get the infection. Sometimes, keeping a distance is not an option. You may happen to travel in the metro to go to work. In such a scenario, you can use a mask to cover your nose and mouth.
If you have flu, stay at home
If you are infected with flu, you must stay at home so that you don’t transmit your infection to others. And if you have to venture out, again, wear a mask. Moreover, rest, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration if you have flu.
Flu might appear to be an insignificant disease, but carelessness can worsen the conditions, Thus, follow these tips to keep yourself flu-safe!