Avoiding the Flu

It is that time of the year where it appears everyone is getting sick. Coughing, sneezing, stuffy noses everywhere! Symptoms of the flu include fever which can be high, headache, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, feeling very tired, vomiting and nausea may occur.

According to the CDC, there are four different strains of the flu. The four types of are Influenza A, B, C, and D. The viruses A and B cause the seasonal flu while C causes a mild form of the virus, influenza D affects cattle. Your doctor will do a swab to determine which
flu you have.

There are some things we can do to avoid the flu. First is to get the flu vaccine when it becomes available. The vaccine causes antibodies to form in your body around two weeks after you get your shot. The vaccine may not protect you from all strains of the flu however it may control how sick you actually get.

The next thing you should do is wash your hands! It is very important to wash your hands and be sure you are doing so properly. You should wet your hands with clean running water. Add soap and work into lather by rubbing your hands together. Scrub your hands and all surfaces including under your fingernails for at least 20 seconds. You can sing “Happy Birthday” twice while doing so to be sure you are scrubbing for an adequate amount of time. Rinse hands under clean water allowing them to point down into the sink being careful not to touch anything. Dry your hands using a clean towel. Use a clean towel to shut off the water.

If you sneeze or cough, control it by sneezing or coughing into your elbow. Pull your arm in close and be sure you are not spreading germs. Do not sneeze into your hands as this will lead to the spread of more germs if you touch anything without washing your hands. Cover your face with your entire elbow. Wipe down countertops, door handles or any exposed surface to avoid the spread of germs. Using disinfectant wipes is a great way to stop the spread of germs. Some people utilize disinfectant sprays as well. Stopping the spread of germs any way we can is what we need to do!

Last hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink water to ensure you flush those germs away and keep your immune system strong. It is recommended that adults drink eight-8 ounce glasses of water a day. Your urine should be clear, a pale yellow color.

For more information about this or other topics, feel free to contact, Nicole Lipinski at Aging Care Partners of the Jewish Home at 570-344-6177 or nlipinski@jhep.org for information about Care Management Services.