While everyone should be proactive looking after their health all year long, flu season requires extra measures. Typically lasting from fall throughout the winter, it reaches its peak between December and February. Taking some small preventative steps can better ensure the illness doesn't spread, especially to those like newborn infants, who aren't able to be inoculated yet. Below is a list of flu care measures you should take.
Top Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season
1. Get a Flu Shot
Studies have shown that the flu shot is between 40 and 60% effective at reducing the risk of contracting the flu. Aim to get the vaccination as early as possible in the flu season as it takes around two weeks to take effect. Alternatively, if you haven't gotten a shot yet, don't think you've missed your window as it can still provide you with several weeks to months of protection.
2. Wash Hands Regularly
During the flu season, regular handwashing should be a part of your daily routine. Germs can live on surfaces for as long as two hours or more, making it remarkably easy to spread the flu virus and other illnesses. Always use soap, rubbing it into the hands for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds; then rinse well with warm water.
3. Utilize Hand Sanitizer
Liquid hand sanitizer is an excellent way to kill harmful germs when it's not feasible to wash your hands. Buy small, travel-sized bottles and carry one in your pocket or purse during flu season. According to the Centers of Disease Control, sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are just as efficient at removing germs as handwashing, unless your hands are particularly dirty or greasy.
4. Don't Share Straws or Silverware
Routine flu care practices should also involve keeping your germs to yourself as much as possible. Don't share straws, silverware, handkerchiefs, and other personal items with others. Always cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and try to use paper-towels to twist doorknobs or faucet handles.
If you need a flu shot, or you sense the beginnings of the condition taking hold, trust Dumas Family Practice. For more than 25 years, their team of family doctors has been providing all manner of health care service to the northern panhandle of Texas. To schedule an appointment for flu care or treatment, call them today at (806) 935-9005 or visit their website.