Our public officials and the media have done a good job keeping us advised about the risk of a possible H1N1 flu pandemic this fall, but it's important to keep in mind that the usual precautions we've all grown accustomed to during flu season still apply and can help keep us well.
The "usual" flu season runs from October through the beginning of May. To stay well during flu season, follow these simple steps:
- Wash your hands regularly with a mild soap and water (make sure your children do, too!)
- Try not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose without first having washed your hands
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night (9 hours for most children)
- Enjoy a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Stay well-hydrated
- Exercise regularly
- Work to manage stress in ways both healthy and effective
In addition, get the flu vaccine if your doctor recommends it in your unique health circumstances. Remember, there may be an additional flu vaccine this fall against the H1N1 virus. A great web site to learn more about being well-prepared in the face of the recent H1N1 flu outbreak is http://www.pandemicflu.gov/
Having taken all the precautions listed above, it’s still possible you might come down with the flu. Flu symptoms commonly include: Fever, Chills, Body aches, Cough and Stomach upset (occasionally with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea).
If you are experiencing these kinds of symptoms, please don’t go to work until you are feeling better. Many of us do the "brave" thing by going to work even when we're not feeling well. If sick with the flu, however, we run the risk of getting others around us sick, too. Concerns about the H1N1 flu virus make this precaution even more important.
The tried and true guidelines about flu prevention you’ve long heard are effective, can help keep us well, and may even lessen our discomfort during a bout with the flu should we come down with it. For example, people who have received the flu vaccine, yet come down with the flu, typically experience a less severe illness than those not vaccinated.
Be well this flu season.
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **