4 Tips to Prevent and Protect Yourself From Getting the Flu Virus
When the seasons change, lung infections begin to rise such as with the influenza virus. Influenza or the flu is very contagious and is fatal if not tackled immediately. In the United States, millions catch the flu every year. However, there are four ways to prevent yourself from being infected by the flu virus this season.
Wear Masks to Protect Yourself From Influenza
In case of an emergency, you should always have enough medical supplies in your home and on hand in your vehicle. However, you should wear a facial mask to prevent you from getting any flu viruses. It might look silly, but if you’re going to be around someone who has the flu and you don’t want to breathe in their air, then a surgical mask is the best way to protect yourself.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales state that either a surgical mask or a high particulate filter mask will enhance protection from serious respiratory ailments such as influenza and SARS. Also, the study shows that persons who wore the masks at home were four times more likely than non-mask wearers to be safeguarded against respiratory viruses, including the common cold.
However, in recent years, there has been a shortage of surgical masks available because of the increase in contagious epidemics that are happening worldwide. For instance, one producer of surgical masks makes 600,000 masks each day but is grappling to meet the demands. This is why it is very important to have some bulk medical supplies just in case there is an epidemic happening near you and stores run out of stock.
Implement Valuable Health Habits
Developing good health habits will protect you from the flu virus. Influenza is very contagious and can spread quickly from person to person. You can encounter the flu by just standing within six feet of a person who is talking, coughing, or sneezing. You can even be contaminated by a simple touch.
There have been many studies done on influenza. One, in particular, was conducted by the University of Maryland stating that people who are carrying the influenza virus can contaminate the air around them just by breathing.
Many researchers have determined that touching frequently used areas such as door handles and table surfaces can spread the flu virus up to sixty percent within just two to four hours of contamination.
This is why it’s very important to frequently wash your hands and practice good hygiene. Also, if there’s a serious outbreak, wear face masks and gloves in the workplace when possible.
Continue to Build Up Your Immune System
Continually building up your immune system is very important when it comes to protecting your body from infections. This is especially necessary for people who suffer from a compromised immune system already. Individuals who have asthma, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and take medications, need to be especially concerned with keeping a healthy immune system.
If you have a healthy immune system, then it will do what it can to protect and fight threats such as the flu viruses.
Things that you can do to improve your immune system when it is compromised is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, have a healthy balanced BMI, reduce stress, get enough sleep, and take multivitamins. Studies show that by doing these things, you will lessen your chances of getting the flu virus and other ailments.
Get the Flu Shot
Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent yourself from catching the seasonal flu virus and being in bed for days. The flu shot saved about 40,000 people in the United States between 2005 and 2014. This resulted in a decrease of early childhood and elderly deaths to complications with the flu. This decrease still took effect after individuals took the shot and the infection failed to be prevented.
The doctors inject the vaccine into your arm with a needle. The flu shot prompts your body to produce antibodies to fight against the inactive viruses and making your body know what to do when the real active viruses try to attack you. The flu shot may have side effects, however, but it does not cause the flu ailment.
The flu vaccine was made to protect you from three to four common viruses that are dangerous during flu season.