ON LIFE AND LIVING: COLD AND FLU SEASON
Although the start of cold and flu season varies each year, it can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. That being said, it’s never too early to start taking precautionary measures to protect yourself from illness. This is especially the case for young children, infants and elderly adults. Here are some tips for staying healthy before the holidays.
1. Get an Injectable Flu Shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting an injectable flu shot (rather than a nasal spray flu vaccine) this season to protect against this season’s strains. It is important to get the latest vaccine, as it protects against what are predicted to be the most common forms of the viruses.
2. Stay Away from Those Who are Ill
Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. This can prevent you from coming down with the illness and reduce the chance of it spreading. Similarly, you’ll want to stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading the illness to other people.
3. Keep Your Hands Clean
Washing your hands will help you stop the spread of germs and reduce your chance of coming down with a cold or the flu. In addition, try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, as these areas give bacteria a gateway to the rest of your body.
4. Disinfect Contaminated Surfaces
The flu virus can remain on objects for up to 48 hours, so it is essential to clean items after they have been contaminated as soon as possible. Disinfectant wipes can be used to remove bacteria from hard surfaces such as keyboards, laptops and door knobs.
5. Cover Your Mouth and Nose
Your mouth and nose should be covered when you sneeze or cough to prevent the spreading of germs. If you think you might have the flu or a cold, consider wearing a facemask to reduce the odds of contaminating others and the surfaces around you.