According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times, even lead to death. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.
Flu symptoms can range from:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
Because we spend much of our time at work or in school, it’s best to adopt healthy habits that can help stop germs, as well as prevent you from getting infected by the flu. Here are some health tips from the CDC to prevent getting the flu:
- Avoid close contact. Limit contact with people who are sick, and if you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, call in sick from work, school, and other commitments when you are sick to prevent spreading your illness and ensuring you are getting enough rest.
- Cover your mouth and nose. When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose or tissue to prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs, especially if you cough into your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are spread often when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth. Use your own towel in your apartment, and don’t share it with others.
- Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially if someone is ill. Also, get plenty of sleep, exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, and with good health habits, proper nutrition and exercise, you can help prevent the spread of the flu this season! Be sure to check out NYC Department of Health site and talk to your doctor for more information on the flu.