In a typical year, the flu claims the lives of around 12,000 people. During an especially bad flu season, that number rises to around 56,000. While up to 80-percent of those deaths occur in the senior population, the flu can affect people of any age; earlier this year in Connecticut, the death of a ten-year-old was blamed on the flu. It’s not too late to attack the flu, and avoid becoming a tragic statistic.
Here are a few suggestions from the team at South Coast on ways to ensure you and your loved ones avoid the flu this year. The easiest way is to know the facts and get vaccinated. While most pleas to get your flu shot come earlier in the season, it’s never too late to listen to the experts: contact your doctor today if you haven’t gotten your vaccination yet.
Here at South Coast, we suggest you wash or sanitize your hands early and often. While this may seem like a pretty basic way to steer clear of the flu, it could be the most effective. You don’t have to pretend you’re prepping to perform surgery, either; health professionals say plain soap will do the trick, because at least 20 seconds of vigorous rubbing (don’t forget to clean under your nails, the backs of your hands and between your fingers) will attack most flu and cold germs before they can do any damage. If you can’t get to soap and water as often as you’d like during the day (especially if you work around a lot of people) hand sanitizer can be your best line of defense. This is a great option if you’re a part of the senior population and can’t always wash your hands.
We recommend making exercise a part of your daily routine. This can boost your body’s immune system and reduce your risk of getting the cold or flu by up to one-third. Even though your endurance may wane as the years pass, regular exercise (such as stretching and cardio workouts) can have a positive impact on your body’s ability to fight off the flu.
You should avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Over the course of a day, most of us touch our faces without even thinking about it, which can be one of the easiest ways there is to spread the flu. To reduce the risk of getting sick in the first place or making things worse, we encourage our guests to minimize touching their faces or scratching their eyes.
South Coast believes a cleaner environment means a healthier you. To help keep the germs away, we keep our community as clean as possible. We keep disinfectant handy and aren’t afraid to use it – especially in breeding grounds for germs, like bathrooms and kitchens. Doorknobs and light switches are hot spots for the flu, as well. If you work in an office environment, wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal work areas and make sure you disinfect your own workspace on a regular basis.
Stay hydrated – drink plenty of liquids. You should always have water or hot tea nearby during the day. You may not realize that fluids help your nasal passages stay moist and trap germs, important in keeping them from spreading throughout your body.
For more helpful tips keep reading our blog.
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