The fall/winter flu season generally begins in October and starts to die down by February. However, in some cases, people can still get the flu until May.
Although no one is 100% naturally immune from the flu, there are ways to successfully prevent it. Here are three key tips that will help you avoid getting the flu this season and every flu season to come.
Tip #1: Wash Your Hands Regularly
Regular handwashing with soap and warm water can help prevent the spread of the flu virus. The influenza virus is extremely contagious, but washing your hands can prevent you from getting sick – and it can also prevent you from inadvertently spreading the virus to others.
The flu virus can stay alive on doorknobs, tabletops, and other hard surfaces for many hours. The virus can also survive in the air, and colder temperatures allow the virus to live even longer in the air; so if it gets on your skin and you touch your nose or other mucous membranes, you can give yourself the flu unless you’ve washed it off. Of course, you don’t know whether you have been exposed to the virus, so frequent handwashing is imperative.
Tip #2: Boost Your Immune System
The best way to boost your immune system is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and this includes a nutrient-rich diet of unprocessed plants and proteins plus regular physical activity. Your body functions best when you are eating the right foods and exercising to keep yourself in peak condition. This way, you are in a better position to fight off the flu virus.
Bad habits that can compromise your immune system include smoking, drinking too much alcohol, ingesting illicit drugs, and not getting enough sleep at night. Additionally, keeping your stress levels down also helps your immune system effectively fight off illness.
Tip #3: Get a Flu Shot
The single best thing that you can do every year before or during flu season is to get a flu shot. The vaccine protects you from several influenza virus strains that are most common during flu season.
There may be a lot of debate about the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine, but don’t listen to the rumors. The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu itself; what the vaccine does is to force your body to create antibodies against the virus by exposing your body to the dead virus. People who have had a flu shot and then came down with the flu were already exposed to the live virus before they received the shot.
Every flu season, the flu vaccine saves thousands of lives, especially among the very young and the elderly. It can prevent fatal complications that result from getting infected by the flu virus.
Flu Vaccination in Kent, Washington
Preventive medicine in the form of the flu vaccine is key to avoiding the virus this flu season. Here at FamilyCare of Kent, we offer an extensive array of immunizations and vaccines, including the annual flu shot – protecting the health of you and your family.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced nurse practitioners, contact our team today by calling us at (253) 859-2273 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you and your whole family stay healthy and flu-free this season and every season!