Did you know approximately between 5 and 20% of Americans get the flu every year, particularly during flu season? The flu season in the United States begins in October, gets into full swing between December and February, and ends in March, depending on the state.
In other words, winter is considered the prime season for this contagious illness called flu.
Flu or influenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness that can be serious and lead to hospitalization and complications, such as pneumonia and even death.
Avoiding the flu during flu season can be tricky. However, there are some ways that can minimize your exposure to viruses, build your immunity and reduce your risk of infection during flu season.
Let’s talk about those ways and where you can go for the thorough evaluation and treatment of your respiratory illness in and around Weatherford, TX.
#1 Get a Flu Shot
Getting flu shots is the best and most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the influenza virus. The centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone older than 6 months get an annual flu shot. CDC also recommends getting your flu vaccine in September or October, but you can also get one anytime during the flu season.
Research has established that flu shots protect against flu-causing viruses (that are predominant during winter) and can reduce the risk of flu by 40-60%.
You can get flu shots from your primary care doctor or a nearby lung specialist.
#2 Practice Good Hygiene
The influenza virus is very contagious – it can spread via droplets that are produced while coughing, sneezing, and talking. You can also catch the flu by touching contaminated surfaces liketabletop or doorknob.
Practicing good hygiene can defend you against the flu.
Following are a few steps that you can follow in winter to avoid the flu.
- Stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and dispose of it off immediately
- Keep your hands clean
- Try not to touch your mouth, nose, and eyes unnecessarily
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
- Stay home and avoid close contact if you’re having symptoms of the flu
#3 Boost your Immunity
Your immune system protects you from a variety of illnesses, including flu. A strong immune system launches an attack on the flu virus and protects you from it.
So, you must boost your immune system during flu season to protect yourself from the flu.
Some ways by which you can boost your immune system are:
- Incorporate citrus fruits and green vegetables in your diet
- Maintain a moderate body mass index (BMI)
- Exercise frequently
- Take vitamin D to halve the risk of respiratory infections
- Get plenty of sleep every night
- Reduce stress
- Quit smoking
Cold And Flu Treatment in Weatherford, TX
If you are having symptoms of the flu or want to protect yourself from catching the flu, schedule an appointment with pulmonary specialists at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas.
Our lung doctors are highly trained and experienced in treating a wide range of pulmonary conditions and infections like influenza. They will not only help you keep your flu symptoms at bay but will also recommend flu shots and guide you on how to prevent flu from contracting you in the future.