December 8, 2020
As if COVID-19 wasn’t enough to deal with, Dec. 6 marked the first day of National Influenza Week. Influenza (commonly known as the flu) is a highly contagious respiratory disease that infects millions of people each year. With all the different information present, it can be challenging to determine how to best minimize infection risks to yourself and others. While there isn’t a way to completely guarantee safety, there are several steps and strategies to prevent the spread of influenza and keep you and those around you safe.
It might not be 100% effective, but getting a yearly flu shot is the best and most reliable flu prevention method for anyone over six months old. (But we’re assuming any reader has reached that age requirement.)
You can schedule your flu shot at a local pharmacy, health center, or even a drug store, depending on the location. Some of those administration sites might require an appointment, so check your specific location for details and specifics.
Depending on your situation, there are also specialized versions of the flu shot, such as a high-dose vaccine for those over 65 and nasal sprays for people between the ages of 2 and 50. (Here’s a full list from the CDC of those who should avoid the nasal spray method.) Make sure to research potential alternatives and other forms to ensure you are getting the best possible form of protection for yourself!
It might not always be possible, but avoiding large gatherings of people is a great way to minimize exposure to the flu. Someone with the flu could be anywhere, such as:
If you have to go to a location that you know will place you close to others, make sure to practice good health habits. Here are some measures you can take:
Your hands come into contact with a ton of different things! The world is a germy place, and as you interact with the world, you risk the chance of exposing yourself to viruses such as the flu. Because your hands are most likely the part of your body to interact with passageways into your body (such as your eyes, nose, and mouth), you have a greater chance to place yourself at risk if you don’t regularly wash your hands. Washing your hands frequently and with the CDC’s advised method is a great way to minimize your potential risk.
Just because you’re practicing flu prevention strategies doesn’t mean the rest of your household is! It’s virtually impossible for people, especially children, to keep all of these guidelines in mind as they go throughout the day. We advise you to disinfect high-touch surfaces in your house regularly. For example, food preparation surfaces, toys, faucets, and door handles.
Even with practicing flu prevention strategies to the best of your ability, there is always a chance you become infected with the flu. If you think you might have been exposed, look for the following symptoms:
It is important to note that flu symptoms can overlap with other respiratory infections, including COVID-19. If you experience these symptoms, make sure to self-isolate yourself, get tested, and continue practicing good hygiene while waiting for your test results. We recommend looking at official releases from the CDC for more information about potential risks involved with the flu.
Between distancing yourself from others, receiving a flu vaccine, and maintaining good hygiene and sanitation practices, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding the flu. If you’re looking for a supplier of those sanitary products like masks, wipes, gloves, or other products, check out Global PPE’s store catalog to stock up. Stay safe!