At the same time you take steps to protect yourself from the flu, you are also helping prevent others from getting sick. We encourage you to do your part to keep the people in your community healthy. Take note of these tips to stay well this flu season.
1. Get your annual flu shot.
Getting vaccinated is the most important step in flu prevention. The annual vaccine is made up of weakened forms of what research suggests will be the most common virus strains of the upcoming flu season. Kelly McDonald, MD, primary care physician at St. Joseph Health Primary Care Brenham, says, “The flu vaccine helps your body develop antibodies to fight the flu virus if it enters your body, preventing you from getting the symptoms that accompany the flu.” Make an appointment with a St. Joseph Health Primary Care physician to receive this year’s flu vaccine.
2. Avoid contact.
Avoid contact with people who are contagious, and avoid others when you’re sick. Avoiding contact with others can prevent the person-to-person spread of the flu virus. It’s also important to avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth, to prevent the transfer of germs from your hands to places where germs can easily enter your body. Especially during cold and flu season, wash your hands often with soap and warm water. After rubbing soap over every inch of your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds, rinse under warm water and dry using a clean or disposable towel or hand dryer. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Practice healthy habits.
Strengthen your immune system by eating lots of nutritious foods, managing stress, getting a good amount of rest every night and regularly exercising. Be sure to also drink plenty of hydrating fluids to keep your body feeling its best. As you set the stage for a healthy body, you can also take steps to create a healthy environment. Disinfect household items with which you often come in contact: phone receivers, remote controls, doorknobs, and more. Lastly, keep the environments of your neighbors healthy by covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
If you get sick, visit your nearest St. Joseph Health Primary Care location. Make an appointment online at SJapptasap.org or by calling 979.314.5624. Our physicians are committed to helping you maintain good health through education, communication and the latest developments in healthcare.
CDC - CDC Says “Take 3” Actions to Fight the Flu
CDC - Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs
CDC - Wash Your Hands