Fall is right around the corner, and that means several things: school is back in session, football season is upon us, cooler weather is coming – and the flu is back. While it is always hard to predict when the flu virus will begin spreading, it typically starts in the early fall and peaks in January-February. There are several steps you can take NOW, in order to make sure you are prepared to stay healthy throughout the flu season.
- Get a flu shot. Whether or not you are in a “high-risk” group (children, elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions, etc.), everyone should consider getting a flu shot. If you do fall into one of these groups, consider it a necessity. Allegro Family Clinic in New Hope is a great local option for getting in and out quickly, so you can get back to your routine. You can also stop by one of your local Dutch Pharmacies for a shot (subject to availability).
- Wash your hands regularly. The flu virus is typically transferred from person to person via the hands. Washing your hands after using the restroom, visiting public places, and handling money can reduce your risk of exposure. It is also wise to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for those times when it is not convenient to wash.
- Stay away from those that you know are sick. If you are a caregiver of a sick child, make sure to use plenty of Lysol or other disinfectant to take care of yourself. It is difficult to care for a child when you are sick, as well.
Actively exercising these precautions to avoid the flu does not guarantee that you will not get sick this fall/winter. The flu is unpredictable and highly contagious. However, taking these common-sense steps now and throughout the season can reduce your likelihood of contracting the virus, which is good for you and those around you.
Live healthy & live happy!
*For information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the 2013-2014 flu season, please visit their website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2013-2014.htm.