When you hear the word, “autumn,” what do you think of? Most people are reminded of carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, or gathering with their families for Thanksgiving. But for those of us in the healthcare field, we know that it’s peak season for the highly contagious flu.
The flu can last 1-2 weeks, with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and more.
So, what can you do to keep yourself and others safe from this virus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. They recommend that everyone 6 months or older should get an annual flu vaccine, which can be easily accessed at most local pharmacies.
2. Daily preventative measures
Protect yourself by regularly washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds – and sanitizers can be used up to five times in between washing hands. Also try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you’re starting to feel sick, do others a service by covering your coughs and sneezes in your elbow.
3. Anti-viral drugs
Finally, if you do have flu-like symptoms, it’s important to schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately. Your doctor can prescribe you antiviral drugs, which can decrease the time you are sick and reduce your symptoms.
For more information on flu prevention, please visit the CDC website.