The autumn season has arrived. While everyone is looking forward to beautiful foliage, bonfires and pumpkin spice everything, fall also brings with it flu season. During fall and winter months, people stay indoors more, passing illnesses more freely. According to the CDC, influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. People with chronic medical conditions and the elderly are at higher risk for complications from the flu.
It’s extremely important to take steps to prevent the flu, especially for those high-risk individuals. These tips will help you prepare to fight off the flu.
- Vaccinate. Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu. Vaccination makes contracting the flu much less likely, and those who do get the flu become less sick, require less treatment and experience fewer complications. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis offers FREE flu vaccinations to our clients and caregivers, in an effort to help them stay healthy throughout the season.
- Encourage others to vaccinate. Those who work with or spend time with those at increased risk for getting the flu or having complications from the flu should also get vaccinated, as it decreases the chance of spreading the illness.
- Keep up healthy habits. Exercise, eat well, sleep well and limit stress to ensure your body is in its best position to fight off germs.
- Wash your hands. Properly wash your hands often. Insist that others do the same. Keep hand sanitizer readily available.
- Clean, clean, clean. Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, remotes, phones, etc.
- Stay home when sick (and encourage others to do so). Prevent the spread of the flu by staying home when sick. Agree with family and friends that everyone else will do the same. If you work or volunteer, ask about establishing guidelines that encourage sick individuals to stay away from the office, organization, etc.
- Have supplies on hand. So that you don’t have to run out to the store, make sure you have doctor-approved medication on hand for pain, fever and other flu symptoms. Also, stock up on tissues, cough drops, fluids and soups. Check your thermometer and humidifier to make sure they’re working properly.
While there is no guarantee that any action will prevent the flu, taking these steps will greatly reduce the chance of you and your loved ones catching the flu. We wish you a fun, festive and flu-free fall!