Catching the flu can turn into a minor emergency for any household. With the news reporting the the flu season came early this year, it is a good time to prepare and stock up on supplies just in case.
Prevention is still the ideal situation during the flu season. With a few precautions, perhaps we can avoid catching the flu altogether.
Avoid crowds Staying away from people can be difficult this time of year, but try it anyway. Being among lots of people increases your chances of getting contaminated. Do your shopping online, or if you like the mall, go shopping on a weekday or at least ahead of the big day before Christmas rush.
Doctors recommend the vaccine for especially for high risk individuals People with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or a weakened immune system are generally considered high risk and therefore are recommended to get vaccinated. However, this is a personal decision and is different for everyone. I got the vaccine once when free vaccine was being offered at work, and I felt quite miserable enough to miss work the next day. I know it will be quickly pointed out that “you cannot catch the flu from the vaccine because the it contains a weak or dead form of the virus,” but everyone reacts differently. Check with your doctor and do your research before making a decision.
Wash your hands Get everyone in the family in the habit of washing their hands as they come home from public places and before eating. If you cannot wash your hands right away, use antibacterial wipes.
Stop touching your eyes and face Once you touch something with germs, and you touch near your eyes or mouth, you can instantly catch a disease. Be aware of this and if you cannot wash your hands right away, at least keep your hands away from your face.
Disinfect surfaces around you Keep a box of antibacterial wipes and clean door knobs, light switches and other commonly touched items around you. I like to keep a canister of my own Lysol wipes at the office and disinfect my desk, keyboard and phone on a regular basis. I may sound paranoid about germs but I’d rather not risk catching anything with lots of people hacking and coughing around the office.
Bolster your Immune System
Strengthening your immune system is another good way to avoid catching the flu.
Get enough sleep and rest.Relax and avoid stress.Exercise at least three to four days a week.Eat a healthy diet. Take vitamin supplements if you feel you don’t eat well enough.
Flu Care Kit
Hopefully you will never need it, but keeping a few items in your emergency kit will help you avoid having to go to the store if you were sick and miserable:
Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil or Dayquil Canned chicken soup – I know home made is best, but sometimes you just feel too sick to make anything and canned chicken noodle soup will do in a pinch.
If you do get sick, see a doctor right away, as you might be able to get a prescription for an antiviral flu drug that may shorten your symptoms. Stay home and rest. You will avoid spreading it to others and the rest will help you recover quicker than if you kept going. Can you imagine being in a disaster AND having the flu at the same time? A few preparations ahead of time would help you avoid the additional misery.
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