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How to Protect yourself from the Flu Outbreak

Health officials are very concerned because this year’s flu season is getting a lot worse – and is no where close to ending. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), as of today, affected states with flu infected people have increased to forty two.

As there is still a long time before the flu season ends, authorities are anticipating the worst scenario possible. They are comparing the numbers of flu patients today to those with swine flu back in 2009.  It is safe then to say that the US is currently experiencing another flu outbreak. The Acting Director for the CDCP, Anne Schuchat, clearly described the current situation: “Over the next few weeks, we do expect and it would make sense to see more pneumonia and influenza-related deaths. The people who are likely to die are already in the hospital.”

Although it is hard to hear or see stories about the people affected by the flu, in order for you and your family to avoid the disease, you need to equip yourself with knowledge of the disease – the symptoms and how you can prevent it.

Get a Flu Shot

Although some researchers emphasized that the available flu vaccines are less effective today with the new strain of flu virus, it is still effective in some ways and can offer protection to the body. Compare it to going out into the pouring rain without an umbrella versus with an umbrella. During torrential rains, you are still likely to get wet even if you use an umbrella, but you will not be as wet as when you brave the rain without one. Getting infected with the flu virus when vaccinated will be less bad than acquiring the flu without one.

Frequent Hand Washing

As the now famous ranting nurse, Katherine Lockler, puts it on her video, “wash your stinkin’ hands!”. And you know what? She is absolutely correct; one way to prevent yourself from being infected by the flu virus is by constant washing of your hands with anti-bacterial soap. Germs have the ability to live on surfaces for two or more hours, and if you come into contact with a surface touched by an infected person (even if you do not encounter that person face to face), you may end up contacting the virus. There are many possible places that infected people can transmit their disease through, such as through public transportation, public restrooms, schools, offices, the mall, and the list goes on and on. Using hand sanitizers are advised when you are unable to wash your hands immediately.

Boost your Immune System

Let’s face it, a flu vaccine will be useless if you have an unhealthy body.  Your best defense against the flu, and every other disease for that matter, is a healthy immune system. And to be able to have a healthy immune system, you need eat healthy foods, drink a lot of water, take vitamin supplements, and have a regular exercise routine. Consume foods such as garlic, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard are great choices), wild salmon rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and citrus fruits that are packed with vitamin C.

Avoid Crowded Places

People who are sick with the flu can spread the virus to others up to about 6 feet away. Flu spreads mainly by microscopic droplets that go airborne when people who are infected cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can get into the mouths or noses of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs, or linger on surfaces nearby.

Sick people infected with the flu virus can spread the disease easily by just talking, coughing and sneezing. So, protect yourself by avoiding crowded places where it will be highly possible to come into contact with people carrying the flu. This is especially applicable right now during the flu season. However, if you cannot avoid such places, you can take extra precautions by wearing a mask when you go to places heavily populated with people. Make sure to bring with you a hand sanitizer too, and wash your hands at every opportunity you have. Also avoid touching your face, especially your mouth and nose when you are at a public place.

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