The 2019-2020 flu season is one of the worst to date. So far this year, over 19 million flu diagnoses have been reported resulting in more than 18,000 deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC. It is important to take precautions this flu season to avoid contracting the viral infection. Here are the top three ways to protect yourself from the flu this season.
1. Clean Shared Surfaces Each Day
Believe it or not, the flu is not only spread by being too close to someone who is contagious but can survive on a surface for 24 hours without a human host. To be safe, wipe down surfaces daily, especially if someone within the household has the flu. It is also good practice to wipe down shared surfaces to prevent the spread of other germs.
2. Wash Hands
It is important to wash your hands regularly. About 25 percent of the people carrying the flu don’t experience symptoms and are still contagious. Wash your hands after you touch another person, before you eat and after using the bathroom. It is good practice to wash your hands before preparing food and when changing locations/environments. For example, you should wash your hands when you get to work and when you get home from work.
3. Strengthen Your Immune System
One thing you can do to protect yourself from getting the flu is to strengthen your immune system. This is accomplished by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting adequate sleep. A healthy, balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off external bacterial and viral threats. Cooking meats thoroughly prevents food poisoning and the spread of harmful bacteria. Exercising at least three days a week aids in maintaining healthy blood pressure and proper weight, which promotes favorable circulation. Getting at least six to eight hours of sleep each night helps revamp your immune system and increases bodily and brain function. When you get enough sleep, you focus better, and rarely get sick. While you sleep, your body heals by regulating hormones, reducing inflammation and restoring memory and focus.
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