By: Ishani Gandi
The time of year has arrived where everywhere you go, there’s a cough or a sneeze—the student sitting behind you in class, your coworker at your job. You might start to wonder, “How do I not get sick?”
One of the main viruses out there is influenza, more commonly known as the flu. If caught, it can leave you sitting at home with a high fever. Thankfully, it’s beatable. Here are some measures you can take to prevent getting the flu:
1. Get a flu shot.
By getting the flu shot ahead of time, before symptoms start, you’ll be able to lower your chance of getting sick. The flu shot creates antibodies against the flu virus, and they will protect your body if you end up getting exposed later. According to Healthline, the flu vaccine prevented more than 5.3 million illnesses in 2016-2017. You can go to your nearby pharmacy and easily schedule an appointment to get your flu shot there.
2. Use tissues instead of your hands
If you cough or sneeze into your hand, guess where the residue goes? That’s why it’s safer to use a tissue because it goes straight into the trash after touching your nose or mouth. If you don’t have tissues near you, using your elbow is a good alternative. If you use your hands, wash them or use hand sanitizer to avoid touching doorknobs, papers, technology and more, spreading the flu virus everywhere.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
This is one of the riskiest things you can do, not just for the flu but any kind of sickness. Touching your face with germs on your fingers means that anything could be getting into it. To prevent this, it’s important to stop the habit of touching those sensitive areas.
4. Stay at home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
When your temperature goes down from 100°F to 97°F in a couple hours, that doesn’t mean that you’re immediately good to go. The temperature drop could be a result of medication, food or drinks, and the virus could still be in your body. It’s better not to take the risk. Wait at least a day without running a fever before going back to regular life. This will prevent the virus from getting even worse and spreading to other people.
5. Practice healthy habits
Getting enough sleep regularly, eating enough nutritious food and drinking lots of fluids, especially water, is super important to avoid getting ill. Even though it sounds simple and self-explanatory, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. The Centers for Disease Control research shows that people with health conditions are a lot more susceptible to the flu than people without any. Although chronic, health-related conditions can’t be helped, you can do your part by trying to be as healthy as you can be.
Even though practicing all of these steps can help you prevent sickness, they still might not prevent the flu. It’s important to be mindful and cautious with your actions and your health.