By Melinda Thomas
We are entering the height of the flu season, which means that cases of flu are on the rise. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.
Here are some helpful tips:
Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/protect/cdc_cough.pdf
Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
- Return to work. Stay home until you are fever free for a minimum of 24 hours. Keep in mind that Tylenol and Ibuprofen can mask a fever.
Common Flu Symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
We hope you use these tips to help keep yourself and others healthy during flu season!
Melinda Thomas is the Associate Medical Director of BHCHP.