Flu Season Tips: Protection & Detection

This week’s Wellness Wednesday column is provided courtesy of Central Carolina Hospital.

As we noted last week, yearly flu shots are recommended as the first and best form of prevention against the flu. While getting vaccinated is key in your defense against contracting and spreading of the flu virus. However, prevention doesn’t stop there.

There are some additional measures you can take to help prevent the flu for you and others.

– Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol-based.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
– Avoid sharing food, cups or eating utensils.
– Disinfect your home and belongings, such as door knobs, light switches, children’s toys and play areas.
– Stay home from school or work if you are sick to prevent the spread of germs.
– Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, your sleeve or elbow, and NOT your bare hands.
– Get a flu shot.
– Call your local hospital or your primary care doctor with any questions.

Should you contract the flu, early detection is key. Prescription antiviral drugs can help reduce the time you’re sick if the virus is caught early enough. And early detection is especially important for those who are susceptible to serious complications. If you or a loved one begins to notice symptoms including coughing, sore throat, fever or upper respiratory symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away.

You should also limit contact with others as much as possible immediately after noticing symptoms. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, except to seek medical care or for other necessities.

At Central Carolina Hospital, we truly care about your health and well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about this year’s flu season, we can help. Just call 919.774.2100.