The flu affects between 5 – 20% of Americans every year and can lead to hospitalization and possibly death for children under 2 years of age, seniors, and people with chronic health conditions. Stay healthy this flu season by not touching your face throughout the day, disinfecting surfaces that receive regular contact from hands, washing your hands regularly, and getting a flu shot.
The Importance of Hand Washing
Simply washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Be sure to always wash your hands before, during and after preparing food; before eating food; before and after caring for someone who is sick; and before and after treating a cut or wound. You also must wash your hands after using the toilet, after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste; and after touching garbage.
If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as a temporary option. These hand sanitizers can often quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands, but theydo not get rid of all types of germs. They also may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy and might not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals.
Get Your Flu Shot
“Flu season” in the United States usually peaks in January or later, but can begin as early as October. The best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu and spread it to others is by getting an annual seasonal flu vaccine. It is best to get your flu shot before “flu season” beginsbecause it takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccination for antibodies to develop in your body to protect against thevirus. By getting vaccinated you are also helping to protect your loved ones and your community from getting the flu, especially babies, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
Maybe you’ve heard someone (or yourself) give the excuse that the flu vaccine causes the flu. This is false! The vaccine is made up of inactivated (killed) or weakened viruses that have no ability to infect the lungs. Don’t miss out on celebrations, events, activities, or work this year due to flu. Be sure that you and those around you are employing proper hand washing techniques and that you and your loved ones receive your annual flu shots. Callto or simply walk-in and receive your flu shot today!