As I’m writing this I look out the window and can’t help but notice the leaves changing color on the trees from the lush green of summer to the orange, yellow, and brown of fall. The trees themselves are looking a lot more bare than normal as the leaves quickly vanish from their branches and get blown around by that cool fall breeze. We all know this season all too well up north. It comes with colder weather, warmer clothes, and those pumpkin spice drinks that everyone seems to like. This season also marks the start of the cold and flu season.
One of the main reasons the cold and flu spread so much this time of year is that we are spending much more time inside with others. So what can you do to protect yourself against the flu? According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are six easy things that can help prevent the spread of the flu virus.
1. Avoid close contact
· This is pretty simple; just keep your distance from someone who may be sick. If you yourself are sick, be respectful toward others and kindly avoid getting to close or touching them.
2. Stay home when you are sick
· This is an expansion of tip number one. When you can feel yourself coming down with the flu, take some time off or stay home from school. Your co-workers or classmates will really appreciate it.
3. Cover your mouth and nose
· I don’t see this as often as I should, but when you have to sneeze or cough, try to use a tissue or at least use your inner elbow. Do not use your hands to cover your cough, which will only help spread the flu.
4. Clean your hands
· This is a big one and probably the one you hear about the most. During cold and flu season and in general, good hand washing practices will help prevent you from getting sick as well as help prevent others from getting sick.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
· When you come into contact with the flu virus it is usually through touching something with your hands. You can become sick when your hand touches something that allows the virus to get inside you, such as your eyes, nose or mouth. So along with handwashing avoiding touching these areas will greatly reduce your chances of getting the flu.
6. Practice other good health habits.
· This tip is pretty broad, but all things stated here will help keep you healthy this winter. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, be active, get plenty of sleep, manage your stress, drink plenty of water, and eat right.
The CDC also mentions getting a flu shot. There is no way of knowing how helpful it will be as the flu virus is constantly mutating, but if it could save you from feeling miserable for a few days it might be worth the time, effort and money to get one. Stay healthy this winter and as always make it a safe Monday!
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company