When it Come to Health, It's Better to Be Safe Than Sorry: Here are the Best Flu Prevention Techniques for 2020

When it Come to Health, It's Better to Be Safe Than Sorry: Here are the Best Flu Prevention Techniques for 2020

Common cold and flu infect millions of people every year. This year, with Corona around, it becomes all the more important to avoid falling sick due to common cold. Follow these tips to better protect yourselves and your loved ones this year.

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Prevention of Flu Assumes More Significance Today than Ever

The approach of spring sees many of our friends and relatives fall sick with the flu. It becomes essential to protect us from the virus, and only practicing good habits can help in preventing the spread of the virus. Unless you take proper precautions, the chances of the flu catching you and you spreading the virus to others are high. While the flu could mean you are down for a few days, it can be life-threatening for those with associated health conditions. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways how we can prevent the flu and common cold.

Few Tips for Preventing Flu and Common Cold

Avoid Contact with Others

  • Flu and common cold spread if you come in contact with others. So, you must stay away from others if you develop symptoms of flu. In this way, your contacts can prevent themselves from falling sick.

  • Flu is mainly a seasonal disease and spreads quickly through crowded places like shopping malls, hotels, cinema halls and public transport. It will help if you stay away from public places during the season of the flu and break the transmission of the disease. Moreover, it is helpful to stay away from crowds if you have a weak immune system. Stay away from people who have flu symptoms and always wear a mask in the flu season.

  • You must not go outside your house if you develop flu symptoms and not spread the disease. It will also help if you stay at home and work from home. It will also help you to take rest and get well faster. It is better to take rest for a few days than getting bed-ridden for a longer time.

Maintain Good Hygiene

  • Maintaining proper levels of hygiene helps to prevent many contagious diseases. To avert a contagion, you must wash your hands as the virus can stay alive for a long time. Additionally, you must also wash the exposed parts of your body like your face and arms regularly too. Public places are usually infested with germs and as a precautionary measure, wash your hands after coming from a public place. Also, carry a bottle of sanitizer as you may not have access to soap and water at all times. Before every meal and before touching your kids, remember to have a bath.

  • Maintaining a safe distance from others is another option. If you have to visit a crowded place, stay at a safe distance of three feet from anyone who is sneezing or coughing. Also, do not touch your face with hands as your hands could be contaminated with the virus. As another step towards preventing the spread of the flu, always take adequate protection when caring for the sick. Wear a face mask and keep the utensils of the patient separate. Always wash the soiled utensils carefully with detergents to kill the germs.

Get Vaccinated

  • A safe way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated against the disease. You must get the shot before winter. The vaccine is appropriate for people above two years and those who are not pregnant or have a chronic health condition. Some vaccines are egg-free for those having an allergy. The flu vaccine is annual, and efforts are on to have a universal flu vaccine. You can also request your doctor for the pneumococcal vaccines.

  • Flu vaccines help to create antibodies in your system that can help your body to fight the virus better. They get triggered within two weeks of a flu shot. Anyone can have the flu shot over six months of age. Studies have shown that the flu vaccine helps to prevent flu in senior citizens and children. Senior citizens are usually administered a more potent dose that is at least three to four times stronger than the regular shot.

Boost Your Immune System

  • Having a robust immune system will help you to ward off diseases, including flu. You must have healthy food and refrain from any bad habits. It is because chronic health conditions, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, etc. can affect your immune system.

  • Healthy living starts with having a diet rich in nutrients. You must have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Also, exercising will help to keep the BMI in check. Even the doctors advise to exercise regularly and have a fixed and healthy diet. You can do regular workouts at the gym or home. Cardio and strength training can keep you healthy.

  • Studies have shown that people with a deficiency in Vitamin D have a higher chance of having flu. Having food rich in vitamins, especially vitamins C and D and antioxidants, can help in preventing it. Lactic acid and flavonoids help in boosting the immune system of your body.

Quit Bad Habits

  • Research shows that smokers have a higher chance of having flu than those who do not smoke. And flu affects smokers more severely. Studies also show that smoking suppresses the immune system to such an extent that it affects smokers too much. Their immune system overreacts, leading to complications. The nicotine prevents releasing the reactive oxygen species and reduces the ability of the neutrophils in killing the pathogens.

  • It is also the reason why alcoholics are more prone to flu than others. Alcohol has several harmful effects on the digestive system, and hence on the gut microbes that help in fighting diseases. It also harms the gut barrier, that release more harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Moreover, it can lead to inflammation in the gut and cause harm to the microorganisms that maintain your immune system. The immune cells in the upper respiratory system are also affected in alcoholics. It damages the cells lining the airway, thereby providing free passage to pathogens.

Take Enough Rest

  • We have always heard our doctor requesting us to take proper rest as it helps our body rejuvenate itself and boost the immune system. It will also help in fighting off diseases. Sleep helps in secretion of proteins that speed up recovery from flu and other related disorders. The temperature of your body rises during illness as it is busy fighting the disease. You should take rest to allow your immune system to be highly productive.

  • If we have less sleep, the number of T-cells go down, and the number of cytokines increases manifold. It increases the chances of being inflicted by the flu. Studies also show that the flu vaccine is less effective in people who do not sleep well. It is said that you must rest for at least eight to nine hours every day. Exercising is also equally important to stay fit and free from diseases.

Take Supplements

  • Apart from having healthy food and a strict exercise regimen, you can also take a few supplements to boost your immunity. Probiotics are an essential supplement that helps in maintaining the proper balance of microbes, and it plays a significant role in curing flu and cold. Vitamin D is also a known supplement, and the best source is direct sunlight. It is the reason you need to take adequate precaution and go sunbathing. Vitamin D is also found in liver, fatty fish and egg yolk.

  • Vitamin C is a known remedy for the common cold, and most of us are aware of it. You can have citrous juices every day. If you choose to take supplements, remember that adults must have it within limits. Zinc is another supplement that can help. Many throat lozenges are known to contain zinc. Turmeric can also help as it contains curcumin. If you recollect, your mother gave you milk mixed with some haldi when you fell ill. It is an antioxidant and also improves gut health.

  • Elderberry is another promising supplement against the common cold. It boosts the immune cells and prevents infections and reduces the effects as well as the duration of flu. Raw garlic also helps to improve immunity and reduces the risk of catching a cold.

Word of Caution: You May Still Fall Sick

  • Despite taking all precautions, your immune system may fail against the virus, and you may catch the flu. Instead of taking medicines on your own, you must visit the doctor and take the prescribed medications regularly. Taking antivirals can help you in curing faster, but you must start taking them as soon as you fall sick. The most common antivirals are peramivir, oseltamivir, and zanamivir. They also help in reducing the adverse effects that flu may have on children and senior citizens.

  • Always note that you must continue to have a proper sleep and take nutritious food to get back in shape sooner. Also, take adequate steps to prevent the spread of the disease. Use a tissue when sneezing, else you must sneeze into your elbow. The tissues you use must be disposed of properly. You must stay indoors and take care not to strain yourself with too much work. It will help you to get well faster.

How to Prevent Spreading Flu at Home

Maintain a Safe Distance from The Patient

Flu viruses can spread quickly in a closed space with people not maintaining social distancing guidelines. If anyone at home has flu-like symptoms, like fever, sore throat, cough, muscle ache and runny nose; he or she must be quarantined instantly. This will prevent the spreading of the virus further. Ensure that only one person attends to the sick person while maintaining a safe distance and taking all precaution like wearing a mask and gloves.

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Maintaining the highest levels of hygiene is essential at home. All surfaces that are frequently touched must be disinfected at regular intervals. It will include the light switches, doorknobs, phones keyboard, etc. You must have adequate quantities of disinfectants and sanitizers and have proper sanitation of your home. There is also a reason to keep the disinfected surface wet for a specified amount of time to allow it to kill the germs.

Proper Sneezing and Coughing

If anyone catches the flu, it is vital to take care of the person properly. The person must sneeze or blow their nose using a tissue. If a tissue is not there, the person must sneeze into their elbow. It is ideal to have a packet of tissues with the sick person. At least, have a handkerchief with the patient to blow their nose. The bed-sheet and the clothes worn by the person must be changed daily and disinfected adequately with a disinfectant.

Have Nutritious Food

We must stay fit and fine if we have to fight the flu virus. Healthy living and having nutritious food can make the virus stay away from you. You must give up your bad habits and smoking and drinking. Also, you must have a good sleep for at least eight hours a day. A regular workout regimen can also help to stay healthy. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help fight against the virus. They are abundant in vitamins and antioxidants that keeps your body healthy.

How to Prevent Spreading the Flu at Your Office

Inform Employees about Maintaining Hygiene

It is crucial to make employees know they need to maintain proper hygiene. Set up bulletin boards showing the appropriate way to wash their hands and keep an adequate amount of hand-wash and sanitizers in the office at proper places. All contaminated items must be disposed of while maintaining proper hygiene standards.

Grant Employees Leave if They have Symptoms

Employees must be screened when they are entering the office. The administration must maintain the highest levels of hygiene in case any employee turn up while being sick. The employee must be sent home with proper care. Sick employees must be allowed to take rest and return only when they are fully cured. They also must present a fit certificate when they are joining back to work.

Have Employee-Friendly Policies

The organisation must have employee-friendly policies that will allow employees to stay back at home when they are sick. Always bear in mind that if you are not fully fit, it reduces your productivity by at least one-third. It could also lead to more absent-mindedness and potential landmines for the organisation. An effective work from home policy for a specified number of days in the month must be allowed by the senior management. It will enable employees to work from home if they fall ill and prevent acts of ignorance.

Promote Healthy Living through Workshops

Periodic workshops must be organised where doctors and paramedics will discuss how to lead a healthy life. The workshop must also train the employees on how to disinfect their hands and exposed parts of the body properly during the flu season. The workshop must also include a portion on how to boost immunity. The employees need to be informed about the foods they must have to improve their power to fight the flu virus.

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