"Flu Season" How can I prevent it, What to do if I get it. Forever Fit, Duncan, BC

“Flu Season” is Upon Us  : (  Here are some recommendations for preventing and responding to the flu symptoms, from the October issue of In The Loop, put out by the University of Victoria.

  1. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Viruses can live on hands for up to three hours. If you don’t have access to soap and water, the next best thing is hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Avoid crowds when the flu is prevalent in your community.
  3. Clean and disinfect shared items as the virus can live up to 8 hours on surfaces e.g. disinfect door handles, computer keyboards, telephones, counter tops.
  4. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth. “Do you know how far a sneeze can travel? … 200 yards!” Use a tissue and discard that tissue right away into the garbage (don’t carry it with you and “wash your hands right away”) or better yet, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve if a tissue is not available.
  5. Don’t touch your face as this can transfer the virus (droplets) through the eyes, nose and mouth.
  6. Practice healthy habits such as getting adequate sleep, regularly exercising, managing stress and following a healthful eating plan.

I would like to add my own thoughts to this list : )

  • Don’t assume that because it is “flu season” that you will get the flu. Think about what you want. NOT what you don’t want. Be cautious but think healthy thoughts : )
  • This is also a time for travelling. According to Hashem Al-Ghaili@ScienceNaturePage, reports indicate that security areas at airports have more viruses than toilets, especially the trays that we put our luggage on. Carry hand sanitizer or wash your hands immediately after clearing security.

What to do if you get the flu

Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control states that most people recover without any intervention.
Steps you can take
  • Stay at home when you are sick to prevent the spread of the virus
  • Rest and drink lots of fluids (unless otherwise advised by your doctor)
  • For muscle pain, use a hot water bottle/heating pad for short periods of times or take a warm bath
  • For sore throat, gargle with warm salt water
  • For stuffy nose, use a spray or saline drops
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
  • Health Authorities recommend that if people are worried about their health, they should first call their doctor, go to a walk in clinic or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1. Individuals who are otherwise healthy but who have the flu should not be filling up the emergency department as this exposes others to the virus, especially vulnerable groups such as people with weakened immune systems or other health complications. It also takes medical resources away from other people who may need them more.