At the end of the first week of January, the flu had spread across 47 states. On the 9th January, Boston's mayor declared a public health emergency. In the Northeast, hospital emergency rooms are becoming crowded with flu stricken patients. If you don't want to get sick, you better be vigilant now. It could be right at your doorstep. The CDC has yet to confirm whether the flu is peaking or winding down. They will have a better idea in a few weeks time.
At a news conference, the Director of CDC urged all Americans to get a flu shot. Do not wait too long to get the shot because if you do, it will be difficult to find a doctor or clinic that have supply of the flu vaccine. The CDC is expecting around 135 million doses from the flu vaccine suppliers. Already 128 million doses have been distributed by 4th January. So, you do the math.
Getting the vaccination is not a 100% guarantee that you won't get the flu. Its effectiveness is only 62%. So yeah, there is still that little risk of getting it. Does that mean you should not waste your time with it? Well, it is better than nothing. When it comes to flu prevention, this is currently the most helpful solution. The flu vaccine this year is no different from the other years.
Here are a few more ideas on how you can avoid the flu.
- Wash your hands constantly. You never know when you might come in contact with the virus. Take extra precaution if your line of work has you meeting lots of people. Definitely wash your hands after you're done visiting someone who is sick. To wash properly, scrub your hands hard for around 20 seconds. Instead of counting to 20, someone suggested that you sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Make sure you don't ingore the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. The scrubbing will help remove germs and viruses from your skin.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer wherever you go. Sometimes, you may be in a situation where you can find water and soap to wash your hands. This is when the hand sanitizer comes in handy. It can also help you eliminate the germs.
- Stay healthy. Watch what you're eating and live a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you are eating nutritious food. You want your immune system to be in tip top shape. If you smoke, try to stop. If you have allergies, get it under control. You don't want to inflame your upper respiratory tree. That just makes it easier for the virus to attack you.
- Keep your surroundings clean. Look around you and ask yourself what could be contaminated. You might want to disinfect things like phones, door handles and remote controls. Even at the office, clean your work space daily. Just be more aware of where germs might be lurking.
- Get proper rest. Sleeping late and waking up early will take a toll on your body. You need enough sleep so your body can efficiently fight whatever flu or cold that comes your way.
At this time, it would be wise to do a stock check on your medicine cabinet. Make sure the batteries for your thermometer is still working. Do you have the medications you need to fight cold and flu? Make certain you have pain relievers, fever reducers, cough syrups and decongestants readily available.