Avoiding close contact with others is an effective way to prevent influenza from spreading. Flu activity almost doubled 1https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/04/health/flu-rsv-virus-activity-ramps-up in the week leading up to October 29, 2022. Flu is a highly contagious virus which can cause some serious complications, so it’s important to try to reduce its spread. Here are some effective ways to do this.
Recent data has revealed that just 49% of Americans plan to get vaccinated against the flu. This is despite 70% saying that the flu shot is the most effective way of preventing the flu. In general, studies have found that the flu vaccine is around 50% effective in healthy adults up to the age of 64. When you’re getting the flu shot, make sure you get a covid-19 shot, too. New research from the University of Missouri Health Care has found that co-infections (where someone has the flu and covid-19 at the same time) can be as high as 48%.
Clean regularly and deeply
Influenza viruses A and B can live on hard surfaces 2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6282993/ for up to 48 hours. If you’re sharing your home with someone that has the flu, disinfect every surface they touch as soon as possible. To prevent the spread of flu in the community, high-touch surfaces should be disinfected at least once per day. This is particularly important at this time of year and in places where there are lots of people mixing, such as in schools and care homes. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the flu, so good hygiene in care homes is essential. Strict hand hygiene protocols should be followed to remove germs and viruses, gloves should be worn, and sick staff shouldn’t attend work. If an outbreak of flu occurs, the care facility should also undergo a deep clean.
It’s best not to go out when you’ve got the flu, but if you need to make an essential trip to see your doctor or to pick up medication, make sure you wear a face mask. Surgical face masks are more effective at preventing viral spread, but a cloth mask will offer some protection too. You may even want to wear a face mask this flu season even if you’re feeling well. Face masks reduce the number of airborne particles that you come into contact with which will lower your chances of encountering the flu virus.
Anyone who’s had the flu will tell you that it’s a nasty virus. Make sure you don’t risk catching it or passing it on to anyone else by following these tips.
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