How to Stave Off the Flu

It’s flu season, and everyone seems to be getting sick. Your son came home from school with shivers and a fever. Your daughter has a wicked cough. And, your co-workers are suffering, as well. How can you dodge the flu this season, when it seems like everyone you know is getting it?

If you want to better your chances of not getting the flu, there are some other simple steps you can take, as follows:

  • Wash your hands often. Be sure to use soap and water, and scrub well. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, because germs are spread that way. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t around.
  • Get your flu shot. The flu can even be dangerous, especially for young children, older adults, and pregnant women. One little shot may pay off for you and your family. It’s a myth that the flu vaccine can give you the flu.
  • Pay attention to symptoms Cold or flu? There’s no surefire way to tell the symptoms apart. However, usually, colds are milder. You might have a runny or stuffy nose. The flu is typically more severe and comes on suddenly. It will probably knock you off your feet for a few days. Fever, body aches, and exhaustion are more common with it.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Take time off. If you push yourself to work instead of rest, your recovery may be much harder. Not only it could last longer, but also you could also spread germs to other people.
  • Use disposable cups, toothbrush, towels etc. to curb germs. When someone in your home is sick, switch to disposable products in your bathroom until they get better. It’s a simple way to stop the spread of germs among family members. Replace cloth hand towels with paper ones, and bring in paper or plastic cups.
  • Drink Extra Fluids. Water, broth, and sports drinks are good choices. Alcohol isn’t. Hot drinks such as herbal tea will warm your airways, helping relieve congestion. Liquids in general help thin mucus, drain your sinuses, and relieve a stuffy nose. If your sick kids don’t drink enough, offer them Popsicles. Or let them drink fluids with a spoon or a straw.

Sometimes, you can take all the preventative measure in the world and still get sick. If you do get sick, you can keep other people from getting the flu by staying away from them. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, too. If you don’t have a tissue handy, the inside crook of your elbow is a great place to do it, so you don’t get germs on your hands.

Hope you remain healthy through flu season. If you do get sick, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.