Is something going around the office? Or did your kid bring it home from school? The sounds of coughing, sniffling, noses being blown—these are signs that flu season is back.
We thought it would be a good time to offer some tips on how to avoid and/or contain the spread of flu in your immediate world. Take note:
- Get a flu vaccine. The vaccine protects you and the people around you from three to four different strains of the flu that experts predict will be the most common this flu season. This means, of course, that the vaccine is not 100% effective, so keep reading for other ways to stay healthy.
- Wash your dang hands. And do it a lot! Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers at your desk. Use it frequently. Clean your keyboards, mouse, and telephone, too.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Or if you’re worried about phlegm all over your good cardigan, keep tissues handy. Keep your tissues next to your hand sanitizer.
- Stay hydrated and eat well. Drinking plenty of water and maintaining a good diet have been shown to boost the immune system and help rid your body of toxins.
- Be mindful when in “flu zones.” Wherever lots of people congregate—at the mall (especially during the holiday shopping season), in the lecture hall, on public transportation—be extra aware of all the things that all the people touch! Think of door handles, light switches, table tops and other surfaces. Keep your hands away from your face and mouth. Have a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer on you.
- Get plenty of sleep and stay active. Your immune system will thank you. And stay on top of your weekly Activity Points goals!
- Remove stressors from your life when and where you can. The flu loves nothing more than when you’ve pushed yourself past your limits. Stress can hamper your immune system’s ability to fight off the flu. Here are some tips on how to stay chill during the holiday season—or anytime, really.
Obviously, we can’t guarantee you’ll successfully avoid the flu by following these tips, but you may protect someone else from getting sick.
If you do get sick, stay home! Don’t go to work, keep your distance from frail loved ones like small children or elders, and don’t plan on rejoining civilization until you’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours.
For more information on influenza, including symptoms and other prevention techniques, head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).