Flu season is in full swing right now, and Dallas and North Texas has been hit particularly hard by the virus. It is important that all of us, particularly those of us caring for and visiting elderly people under in-home care, in nursing homes, residential care homes or assisted living, take all available precautions to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to this particularly susceptible population.
Here are some tips to consider in order to stay healthy and prevent the flu from spreading:
1. Get a flu shot
It’s not too late! Flu shots, though not perfect at helping you avoid the flu, can lessen the effects of the flu in the event that you contract the flu;
2. Wash your hands
The flu virus can spread easily—people spread the flu via droplets when they cough, sneeze or speak with others. Just as importantly, if anyone touches their mouth, eyes or nose after touching an object that has the flu virus, they can contract the virus. To avoid the potential of contracting the flu, you should wash your hands often during flu season, but especially before eating or putting anything into your mouth.
3. Eat healthy
Our immune system protects our bodies from viruses like the flu. We can strengthen our immune system by consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Frequent exercise and good sleeping habits strengthen our immune system as well.
4. Wear a mask
If you suspect that you may have the flu, or if you are around others who may have the flu, you should consider wearing a mask over your nose and mouth. As mentioned before, the flu virus can be transmitted rather easily in social settings. Be prepared!
5. Respond quickly to symptoms of the flu
If you think you might have flu symptoms, including fever, a runny nose or a sore throat, immediately see a doctor. If you catch the flu early, there are drugs you can take that will knock out the flu fast, before it knocks you out!
6. Avoid contact if you have the flu
The flu can spread quite simply, so if you know that you have the flu, be particularly careful to avoid contact with children or with elderly people, particularly those under in-home care, in residential care homes, nursing homes or other assisted living environments as they may be more susceptible to the flu and other viruses.