by Lauren Swanger, holistic health enthusiast and research journalist
The FLU. Nothing strikes more dread in the hearts of normally healthy people during the busy winter months than the flu!
Luckily for us, there are many ways to avoid or lessen the symptoms of flu:
- Disinfectant cleaning products are tested for their ability to kill viruses such as the flu. Because disinfectants can take several minutes to do their work, it’s best if you spray often-used surfaces such as the telephone, remote control, door knob, etc., thoroughly then let it sit for a moment before wiping off.
- Keep your home and office well-humidified. Dry air allows the virus to linger longer, upping your chances of infection. And, infection is spread simply by breathing. You don’t have to exhibit any symptoms of the flu in order to spread it to others. A single breath can spread thousands of flu germs and infect other people for a full 24 hours before you exhibit a single symptom.
- Wash your hands – often. Good hand hygiene is your best defense against the flu, second only to a flu vaccine. On average, 10 percent of people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, and more than 20 percent may wash, but do not use soap.
- Staying home when you know you have the flu could reduce infecting other people by as much as 25 percent.
- Keep your weight within a normal range. The extra weight makes it more difficult for your lungs to function, which in turn makes it harder for you to breathe and to fight off the infection. Being obese also makes the helpful flu shot far less effective.
- Lastly, get a flu vaccine. The vaccine allows your immune system to seek out, identify, and kill the virus that will make you feel so dreadful. There is a new vaccine that protects against four flu strains instead of the usual three, and there is a vaccine available for those who are allergic to eggs.
So, be safe and stay well!