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Lifestyle Tips to Prevent the Flu

No one wants to get the flu (influenza), but each year, the flu will cause hundreds of thousands of American adults and children to fall ill with symptoms that can last up to two weeks. The flu causes you to miss work, school, and other responsibilities and daily activities as you rest and recover. 

Taking a few easy steps in your daily life can go a long way in staving off the flu. If you do fall ill, rest and hydration is the best advice. If you have severe flu symptoms, family medicine specialists Dr. Julie Reihsen may prescribe antiviral medication. 

We’re dedicated to helping you feel your best. That’s why we encourage you to adopt some lifestyle habits that can help keep you healthy. 

The flu spreads quickly

The flu is often compared to a longer-lasting cold, but the flu’s side effects can be very troublesome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, flu symptoms are often more severe than the flu, which has caused up to 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 810,000 hospitalizations, and up to 61,000 deaths a year since 2010. 

All of this is essential because the flu is easier to prevent if you know a few things. 

Stave off the flu with these tips

Here are some of the best ways to stay healthy this flu season. 

Limit unnecessary contact 

Avoiding those who already have the flu or who’ve been exposed to someone with the flu is crucial. Keep a little bit of distance between yourself and those who are suffering. And if you’re sick, extend the same courtesy to others. 

Practice good hand washing hygiene

Keeping your hands clean can significantly reduce your risk of getting the flu. Regularly wash your hands throughout the day under warm water using soap and if you’re outside the home, carry along hand sanitizer. This simple habit will cut down on your exposure to the flu virus. 

Avoid touching your face 

You probably don’t realize how many times you touch your face throughout the day. On average, most people touch their faces as much as 23 times every hour. Touching your face often can spread germs, bacteria, and viruses such as influenza. 

Break the unnecessary habit of touching your mouth or eyes, so you can significantly cut down on your potential for catching — and spreading — the flu. 

Keep surfaces clean 

Surfaces in your home can harbor germs. It’s a good idea to keep your tabletops, counters, and even doorknobs clean. Disinfectant wipes make it easy to wipe and go. It’s especially important to keep surfaces clean before and after preparing meals. Make a habit of cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces in your home on a regular schedule. 

Get the flu shot

Getting a flu shot is an extremely effective way to avoid falling ill this flu season. Health care workers, children, and elderly individuals are especially vulnerable to the flu and should get a yearly flu shot for protection. The flu shot goes a long way toward helping you prevent the flu, and most people tolerate it exceptionally well. 

Be prepared this flu season by taking some extra precautions to keep yourself healthy. For more information, to schedule a checkup, and for all of your general health needs, call us at Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics to see Dr. Reihsen at our Addison, Texas office.

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