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Flu Prebook

Keep Your Family Healthy This Holiday Season

Young mother and her daughters by a fireplace on Christmas
Once you or your family is infected with the flu virus, it is not easy to treat the infection. Just as in many other conditions, prevention of the diseases is the surest way to stay safe. With just a careful attention to hygiene, you can prevent the various flu viruses from reaching your family. As well, the inclusion of immunity boosters can come in handy for you and your family. Moreover, you can always avoid a full blown illness by acting quickly when you notice the first symptom. Here are some of the ways to prevent the flu from catching your family.

Taking up good hygiene practices

There is a myriad of means to observe proper hygiene and consequently keep off the flu and other diseases. One such way is by ensuring you wash your hands. It is an easy way to prevent both contraction and the spreading of the flu virus. Washing hands reduce significantly the proliferation of bacteria ant the flu virus from cold surfaces. Ensure your family follows these steps in washing their hands

  • Before applying soap to your hands, ensure you wet them. Scrub your palms vigorously for about twenty seconds ensuring that under your nails, the spaces between your fingers and the back of your palm are reached properly.
  • Use running water to rinse your hands and use a clean towel to dry them
  • If you can’t locate and soap and water, rub your hand on a hand sanitizer.

Ensure everyone in the family covers their nose and mouth whenever they cough or sneeze.

This should be done by putting their hands in both the nose and mouth whenever there is the need to sneeze. Doing this will considerably mitigate the risk of spreading the germs and viruses

  • Each time you develop the urge to sneeze or cough consider doing so into the crook of your elbow. This will help to avoid contaminating you’re going all over spreading germs to other people.
  • After doing so, throw away the tissue you used immediately and embark on the hand washing process.

Sanitize the places you share

Cold and flu virus spread very easily especially on shared surfaces and spaces such as bathrooms and kitchen. Disinfecting these areas of your house will take you a long way in ensuring the flu virus does not spread.

  • Focus the cleaning on shared areas including bathroom sinks, kitchen counters toilets and the kitchen sink. As well, do not forget the door handles.
  • There are a variety of surface disinfectants available in local stores. In shopping for the disinfectants, you may want to consider one that will provide you will protection against the several strains of the virus.

Boosting your immunity

Even as there is no cure for influenza, you can always get a vaccination against the disease on a yearly basis. This can significantly help to strengthen your immunity against the influenza virus during cold seasons. Ask your doctor whether getting the vaccination would be a good idea for you. When opting for the vaccination, you may want to consider the following in mind

  • Ensure you get the vaccine yearly. The vaccine you had in the previous year can never carry over into the next year.
  • Be aware that you may feel some soreness at the injection site.
  • Report to your doctor any side effects including fever, soreness and body aches.
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Eating Correctly During Sick Season

Sick woman

Image is from Huffington Post

When winter arrives, you know it’s the flu season. In this season, be sure to brace yourself to avoid the disease. While some people will still go for their regular workouts in the gym, it is not recommended. However, you must maintain your health not only during the flu season by all year round. You do this by not only regular and consistent fitness regime, but also a healthy diet that keeps you strong and healthy as well as helps you in fighting the disease. You may have probably wondered how can keep yourself healthy during this season. It is possible to take steps to prevent illness and also to avoid the spread to others.

Wash your hands

Foremost before thinking of anything else, you must wash your hands with clean water and ensure they are clean. Regular hand washing is one of the surest methods of avoiding the spread of germs to others. During the winter months, it is cold, and that means flu is all over and can easily be contracted. The following are some of the important tips to note

  • Ensure you are well versed with hand washing techniques. Rub your hands together while running warm water on them for about twenty seconds. Use a mild hand soap to do this.
  • Whenever you touch your mouth or nose, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. As well, ensure you wash your hands before taking any meal.

Eat healthy

The various kinds of foods you take into your body have a significant impact on your overall health. Eating a well-balanced diet is vital as it can help in support of your immune system. Ensure you eat right to assist in the staving off of flu and other winter diseases.

  • Aim at getting multiple servings of vegetables daily. Carrots, parsnips, and turnips are good vegetable servings for winter. You can take them in various forms including roasting them or just mixing them into warnings of soups.
  • Increase your dairy intake. Milk and dairy products contain lots of vitamins including A and B12 which are vital in keeping you healthy during the cold winter.
  • Try to find low-fat milk as well as reduced fat cheese. Greek yogurt and light cottage cheese is another meal you can try as well.

Limit sugar intake

Limiting sugar intake can significantly strengthen your immunity system. If you have a diet which is low in refined sugar can be of great assistance in getting rid of the influenza virus and colds. These are some of the steps you can take to ensure you limit your sugar intake

  • Watch what you are drinking. Drinks such as sodas and fruits drinks do contain large amounts of sugar.
  • Switched to iced tea or water. These beverages will quench your thirst minus adding sugar to your diet.
  • Whenever you feel that you have a craving for anything sweet, try a piece of fruit. It contains natural sugar that is better for your body than the refined sugars.

Try home remedies

Zinc can be of great help in speeding your recovery. Another important thing you can try is essential oils. They have a myriad of healing properties. Just ensure they are properly mixed. Make a mixture of rosemary, peppermint lemon, eucalyptus and lemon oils. You will need water to mix a few drops of each.

Flu can be very discomforting. Use the nuggets above to help you with quick healing.

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Tips to Avoid From Getting Sick During The Holidays

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Image is from Search Engine Land

The holidays are supposed to be a time to gather with family and friends to enjoy good food, gift giving, and to have fun. If you get sick right before the holidays, it can put a huge damper on your plans. If you want to keep from getting sick for the holidays, there are a few steps that you should take.

Avoid Germ Hot Spots

If you want to keep from getting sick, you should try to avoid germ hot spots. If possible, you should avoid doing your holiday shopping when the stores are the busiest. If you can’t, you should take a bottle of hand sanitizer with you. You should use some when you touch the door to get in the store and again when you touch the door to leave. Halfway through your trip, you should give your hands another dose. If you touch anything that a sick person touched, you can get sick. The best way to keep these germs from infecting you is to keep your hands clean and germ-free.

Get Enough Sleep

With all the stress and running around that go along with the holidays, it can be difficult to get enough sleep. If you don’t get enough, your immune system can become compromised. This can make it very easy for you to get sick. It is important to give yourself a chance to relax at the end of the day and make sure that you get a full 8 hours of sleep.

Dress Warm

Most kids are told growing up that if they don’t wear a jacket that the cold will make them sick. This is not true. It is actually the cold that will weaken your immune system. If you are exposed to germs, your immune system may not be able to fight them off. When you go out during the holiday season, be sure to wear a coat, hat, and mittens. If your feet get wet in the snow, you should change your socks as soon as possible. The same is true with wet mittens. If you keep warm, you have a less chance of getting sick. If you have been out in the cold for an extended period of time, you should take a hot bath or a hot shower. It is the best way to get the chill out. Just be sure to dry your hair completely before going back out or going to bed.

Get Your Flu Shot

It is important that you get your flu shot before the holiday season. It is the best way to protect yourself from being sick in bed for several days. The flu can completely ruin your holiday.

Take a Multi-Vitamin

It is a good idea to start taking multi-vitamins before the holiday season. They will boost your immune system and keep you healthier. The healthier you are, the harder it will be to get infected by germs that you come into contact with.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

If you want to keep from getting sick, you should drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. Doctors recommend that you drink 8, 8 ounce glass of water. You should also avoid alcohol. Getting drunk will weaken your immune system and you could end up with a hangover.

Don’t Share With Others

If you want to keep from getting sick, you should avoid sharing forks, cups, toothbrushes, and anything else that a sick person can pass their germs on.

Getting sick during the holidays can completely ruin your plans. If you follow a few simple steps, you can avoid getting sick and ruining your entire holiday.

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Myths About Flu Shots

Syringe

There are many myths surrounding the flu vaccine that may prevent people from getting their annual flu shot. This can have dire consequences for at-risk populations such as seniors, infants, and the immuno-compromised. At best, the flu is no fun. At worst, it can be deadly. Why then do people skip or avoid a flu shot?

Help protect these vulnerable populations by increasing your knowledge of the of how the flu vaccine works and what the risks are of taking and avoiding the annual vaccine by separating fact from fiction.

Here are some of the most common myths about flu shots.

MYTH: The flu shot doesn’t work.

The CDC cites statistics showing a 74% reduction in pediatric intensive care admissions by vaccinating against the flu from 2010-2012. A 2016 study on seniors showed a 57% reduction in influenza hospitalizations. Studies also show significant reductions in severe influenza illness in people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease(52%).

The benefits go beyond these at-risk populations, with a myriad of studies showing significant reductions in flu-related illness based on vaccinating yearly against the flu.

MYTH: I got sick anyway.

If you’ve ever heard someone say they got a flu vaccine, yet still got the flu–they might be right. That doesn’t mean the flu vaccine didn’t work though. Flu vaccines are based on the previous year’s most common and virulent strains of influenza. With so many influenza strains, not every option will be protected against, especially as viruses mutate and new strains arise.

While it can’t catch every flu out there, the flu vaccine will help protect you from the worst known cases.

MYTH: The flu shot gives you the flu.

The flu shot gives you inactivated viruses. This form of virus cannot be spread (another common myth). This virus form also will not give you an active flu infection. The shot does, however, stimulate your immune response (which is a good thing). Many people will experience a mild reaction from this.

If you get a severe cold right after getting the flu shot, you’re timeline just doesn’t match up. As the flu vaccine takes a week or two to provide full protection, it isn’t responsible for your cold. Chances are, you were already getting sick and didn’t know it. The flu vaccine also does not protect against influenza, not other viruses such as rhinoviruses.

MYTH: The flu isn’t that bad.

Actual influenza is more than just a bad cold, although it may produce similar symptoms including sore throat, cough, and fever. In the United States alone 36,000 people die every year and over 200,000 are hospitalized from the flu annually.

MYTH: If I get sick, I can just get antibiotics.

Antibiotics work great for bacterial infections, unfortunately the flu isn’t an infection – it’s a virus. If you do catch the flu, there are treatments– but no one-size cure all.

MYTH: Vaccines cause autism.

There’s no need to go into detail here. Vaccines do not cause autism. According to the CDC, vaccines and vaccine ingredients do not cause autism.

MYTH: It’s too late in the season to get vaccinated.

Is it too late to get sick? Then it’s not too late to get vaccinated. While getting vaccinated at the beginning of the season provides you the best option to build immunity early, getting vaccinated at any time throughout flu season will still provide protection should you come in contact with the influenza virus.

For more information on flu shots, talk to your local health practitioner.

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The Flu is Always Just, “The Flu”

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Image is from BBC.com

If someone told you your risk of flu infection depends on when or where you are born, your first thought might be that of, “What a ridiculous statement.”

You may wonder what that person is thinking. The flu is the flu every year, no matter what name medicine decides to put into it the next year. This is a myth, because there are differing types of strains of flu evolving throughout the years.

High Risk Medical Conditions

Remember, the flu is a respiratory virus (not bacteria.) Because the flu is a respiratory illness, it naturally attacks the lungs.

If the lungs are not fully developed or you present a chronic respiratory health problem as listed below, your lungs are already in a weakened state.

The flu virus attacks your body, specifically your lungs and they are not up for the fight. You are at a higher risk for developing a secondary infection like pneumonia or bronchitis.

Born Where, Before or After 1968

Researchers discovered that your risk of flu infection is lower if you were born before 1968. You were less susceptible to the flu than those born after 1968 and the strains presented at that time.

Two flu strains are more prevalent in Asia, and the Middle East called the H5N1 and H7N9 or Bird Flu. The research found that if you contracted this strain as a child; you are now immune from any virus from animals such as the Bird Flu in future years.

The year 1968, seemed to be the dividing line for flu virus samplings. For example, the Hong Kong flu was replaced by other influenza viruses from different groups of viruses in the years preceding 1968.

The H7N9 virus strain affects the senior populace more readily. This flu strain is similar to the Hong Kong Flu. Those born before 1968 were never exposed to this virus as children.

Seniors were exposed to flu strains before the new flu strains after 1968 started appearing. The difficulty in coming to grips with this research is, if you were exposed to your first flu infection as a child this would determine which strains you would be immune to as you age.

Coming in contact with either one of the two types of Bird Flu when you were a child protects you in the future.

Three High Risk Individuals

There a couple of groups of people who present a higher risk for contracting the flu than other individuals. These individuals are age sensitive to being high risk for contracting the influenza virus.

  • Infants and younger children
  • The senior populace
  • Those people who have a depress immunity

Infants and young children do not have a fully developed immunity. Thus, infants and young children are in a high risk group for contracting flu signs and symptoms and secondary infections stemming from the flu.

The senior populace, depending upon any chronic health conditions, may or may not be at high risk of the flu infection, in addition to being born before 1968 when some of the viral strains were non existent.

  • Diabetes
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Cancer
  • Circulatory Deficits
  • Nutritional Deficits due to not eating balanced meals
  • COPD
  • Asthma

Medical Conditions Impact Flu Risks

People who have a depressed immunity creates in their body a more difficult time fighting off secondary infections stemming from the flu, such as, but not limited to,

  • Aids
  • HIV
  • Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Asthma
  • Congestive Pulmonary Obstructive Disease or COPD

Where you were born and when you were born determines your risk level for Influenza.

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Understanding the Swine Flu

strain1

Image is from Flowing Data

Obtaining A Diagnosis

The only way to accurately diagnose swine flu is through a flu test. This is because the symptoms of swine flu look exactly the same as those found in conventional strains of influenza. Even differences of severity aren’t always indicators of one strain or another. While it is possible to see increased symptomatic characteristics stemming from swine flu, it’s just as possible to acquire this strain and feel as though you’ve contracted a regular bout of the flu. How you are affected will depend largely upon your personal constitution.

The extremely young and extremely old, like with conventional strains of the flu, will be at increased risk; likely experiencing more severe symptoms. This is because older and younger populations have immune systems which aren’t as strong as those in the prime of life. That said, if you live an unhealthy lifestyle replete with regular contact to diverse people groups, lack of exercise, and a ubiquity of vice (like smoking and drinking), you’re at an increased risk of contracting more severe influenza strains.

A Distinct History

There are actually quite a few different kinds of swine flu, including:

  • H1N1
  • H1N2
  • H2N1
  • H3N1
  • H3N2
  • H2N3

Primarily, the strain commonly referred to as “Swine Flu” is the H1N1 virus. This is that which caused a pandemic which quickly became global seven years ago, in 2009. Since then, this strain of flu has become seasonal in humans, though it still regularly circulates in swine populations. Thankfully, if you’re planning on eating pork, so long as any pork products you consume have been properly prepared, you won’t get the virus. Proper preparation includes cooking; so if you like your bacon soft and rubbery, you might have to give that up to avoid swine flu.

Avoiding Swine Flu

While properly prepared pork will not get you sick, it’s very possible to acquire the virus through poorly prepared pork products. If you can tone down your pork intake during flu season, it’s a good idea; even though you likely won’t catch the flu this way. It’s more likely to get transmitted by a sneeze, a cough, a loud phlegmy laugh, or contacting a door handle/table/hand-rail that’s been touched by an infected individual. Regular hygiene practices go a long way toward preventing influenza. That means washing your hands when you’ve come into contact with areas that may have been compromised, eating a diet high in non-processed foods that include fruits and vegetables, regularly exercising, and retaining a high level of fluids.

Additional Preventative Measures

Getting a swine flu vaccine can definitely help reduce your risk of contracting this specific strain of the flu. But to get that vaccine, you should be advised that peak health is to be recommended. A vaccine initiates an immune system response which bears some characteristics of the sickness itself. This is because an inert (or weakened) antigen is injected into the body, giving the immune system a chance to deal with it and prepare for a future incursion of the same.

Times Of Maximum Risk

Flu season conventionally begins toward the end of September, though it can begin as early as late August. It usually lasts through early spring. Conventionally, you’ll find that influenza season picks up at the end of Summer/the middle of Autumn. Several things which contribute are regular vacation travels, the new school year, and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving where disparate people groups regularly mingle. For you and your family, retaining good eating and fitness habits, as well as a proper inoculation regimen, are great ways to combat this increasingly prominent strain of the influenza virus.

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