Avoid Being Sick as a Dog This Flu Season
That's right, it is time to start pulling out the hats and mittens. It is also time to start thinking about the flu season.
For 2010-2011, UW Health and the CDC recommend flu vaccines for everyone 6 months of age and older. This season's flu vaccine also protects against the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.
The vaccines are available now; contact your primary care clinic today to schedule your vaccine.
10 Tips for Fighting the Flu
Getting a flu vaccine is your best defense, but you should also follow these 10 tips to fight the flu:
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, being with ill people, and especially before you eat
- Avoid sharing objects
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes
- Get enough sleep and avoid getting "run down"
- Reduce stress
- Use tissues for coughs and sneezes; dispose of them immediately and appropriately
- Eat right and get regular exercise
- Avoid crowds and keep your distance from people who you know are ill
- If you are sick, avoid contact with the frail, very young and elderly
- If you are sick, stay home from work or school
And Remember to "W.A.S.H. U.P."
Frequent handwashing is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Every time you touch food or put your hands in your mouth or near your nose, germs are hitchhiking their way into your body. That's where hand washing comes in.
Teach these steps to your children, and try them yourself:
- Stay Healthy and Remember to W.A.S.H. U.P.
- Use warm water; warm water is better at killing germs, and you reduce the risk of getting burned with water that is too hot
- Use whatever soap you like. Antibacterial soaps are fine, but they're not necessary for getting rid of germs.
- Work up a generous lather on both sides of your hands, your wrists, and between your fingers. Wash around your nails - germs' favorite finger hideaway. Wash for about 15 seconds. This is about as long as it takes to sing "the ABC song," a great technique so children wash longer.
- Rinse with warm water
- Dry well with a clean towel. Handwashing experts will use a towel to turn off the water.
- Wash your hands before eating or touching food, after using the bathroom, blowing your nose or coughing, touching animals, playing or participating in sports, or visiting a sick friend.
Move over chicken soup, there's a new trick for stopping illness—it's prevention.
Date Published: 11/17/2010