Author: Kate Clements / Category: Health / Published: Nov-10-2018
Ahh...Flu season. When it seems like your office is half empty and your social circle is scarce, you know it's Flu season. It's the time of year where you wash your hands every hour and drink Emergen-C by the gallon to avoid catching the bug all of your friends have. If you've ever had the Flu, you know how miserable it is and how you want to avoid it at all costs. Did you know there's a way to prevent this horrible virus?
Of course you did! You've seen the commercials, the signs at every pharmacy, and the ads on the web telling you to get your Flu shot. If you haven't gotten it yet, you're probably thinking ,"I don't need this, I'm a strong and healthy person. I'm not susceptible to the Flu!"
As you head into the Flu season, it is helpful to know the symptoms and risks of the Flu, and most importantly, how you can best prevent it.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that each year in the United States, the Flu results in 31.4 million outpatient visits, 200,000 hospitalizations, and between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths. Death! That's pretty scary right?? Okay, most all of those deaths are the extremely elderly, immune compromised individuals, and babies. So, there's a 99.8% chance you won't die from the Flu, but you'll sure feel like death!
Recognize Flu Symptoms Early So You Don’t Spread It To Other People.
One of the Flu’s defining factors is that it hits abruptly whereas a cold appears gradually. Here's a list of typical symptoms:
You might be thinking these look a lot like symptoms of a cold, but again you'd be WRONG! (No offense, but you've wrong a lot today) These symptoms are actually pretty unique to the Flu. Generally if you feel like you have a cold, but you have a fever, it's definitely the Flu.
If You Get It, Don't Spread It!
If you think you have the Flu, please be a pal and don't give it to every person you know.
Here's what you can do to help!
1. Ask your doctor for an antiviral to lessen the intensity and shorten your bout with the Flu.
2. Stay at home and avoid contact with others, especially if you have a fever.
3. Remain hydrated to help your respiratory system turn the mucus into a thin liquid.
4. Inhale steam or add moisture to the air with a humidifier to ease the coughing and general congestion
5. Treat your body aches with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
How Do You Prevent Getting The Flu?
The most effective way to prevent getting the Flu is to get a Flu shot. (Duh)
The Flu vaccination is designed to protect you from the common influenza virus strains of that season by releasing antibodies into your system. Antibodies, people! According to the CDC, healthy adults who get vaccinated decrease their likelihood of getting the Flu by 70% to 90%. In 2012 - 2013 alone, 45% of the US population got vaccinated, which prevented an estimated 6.6 million Flu-related illnesses.
That's AMAZING PEOPLE!
The Moral of the Story Is
While nothing completely guarantees that you will not get the Flu this season, obtaining your Flu shot is the first step and best preventative option. For additional techniques to decrease your likelihood of contacting the influenza virus, remember to:
1. Keep your distance from people who are sick.
2. Wash your hands regularly.
3. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
4. Remain hydrated, eat nutritious food, and get adequate sleep.
5. Disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as countertops, doorknobs, cell phones, and computers.
6. GET YOUR DAMN FLU SHOT.
So my dear friends of the concrete jungle, please get your Flu shot and save those sick days for playing hookie!