Flu Season Is Here - 3 Tips To Prepare
In 2020, getting the flu seems more nerve-racking now than in recent past. With hospitals preparing for the next COVID-19 wave, staying healthy from the common cold or flu is more important than ever. We need to keep flattening the curve and leaving critical care space in our health care clinics and hospitals. Here are 3 tips to help keep the cold and flu bug away:
1. Get Your Annual Flu Shot*
The vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza, a serious and sometimes fatal infection. When you or your child get vaccinated, you help protect others as well by reducing the spread of the influenza virus. Here's some FAQs regarding the Vaccine Here's a list of people who qualify for a free influenza vaccine To find out if you are eligible, talk to your health care provider or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.
2. Boost Your Immune System
As per an article posted by Harvard Medical, your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.*
Maintain a healthy weight.*
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.*
Get adequate sleep.
Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
Try to minimize stress.
The article discusses herbs and supplements that claim to "support immunity" saying, "some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease...Scientists don't know...whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity." That said, if you don't feel your diet is providing you with all the micronutrients you need, "taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system." *
3. Wash Your Hands and Stop Touching Your Face!
We have all had many reminders recently how important it is to wash our hands frequently (Thanks COVID-19). Here's another reminder! As per an example in an article posted in the New York Times about the importance of washing your hands and not touching your face, "during the SARS epidemic, hand-washing reduced the risk of transmission by 30-50%." Then you still have to be "mindful about face touching. Your hands are only clean until the next surface you touch." When hand washing isn't always available around you, invest in some hand sanitizer and use it often.
Some tips to help break the habit of face touching are use a tissue, wear a mask, wear makeup to avoid touching your face throughout the day, wear glasses to avoid touching your eyes and gloves can make you more mindful of not touching your face. It is best to "identify triggers for face touching, like dry skin, itchy eye", nail biting, etc. Whatever the trigger ends up being, find solutions for that like moisturizers, eye drops, or paint your nails.
A helpful article about telling the difference between
a cold, the flu and COVID-19 can be found here: Novant Health
This is for informational purposes only - do not rely on the diagnosis mentioned in the article. If you suspect you, or a loved one may have COVID-19, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to speak with a health service navigator and find out your next course of action.
If we all remain vigilant about living a healthy lifestyle, washing our hands regularly, not touching our face and getting our flu shot, we are all doing our best to fight this cold and flu season. Not only will this keep you healthy, your loved ones healthy, but you will also be doing your part to help your local health care system.
Take care and thank you for keeping all of us safe!
-Your Avanti Group
*The opinions above are based on information supplied by the mentioned articles. It is always best to confirm with your physician of any lifestyle changes you want to make as far as diet, exercise, vaccines, etc.