The influenza virus which is responsible for the flu and the complications that are associated with it come in three types, A, B or C, with type C viruses being the ones most commonly associated with cold symptoms, while A and B are the more serious types.
These flu prevention tips will help you remain healthy throughout the Influenza Season and might even help prevent the Coronavirus.
The good news is that you can take steps to lower your chances of becoming infected with cold or flu viruses.
Preventing The Flu With A Shot
The first prevention and probably one of the most talked about is getting a flu vaccine yearly in October or November.
This does allow you to possibly prevent getting the flu if you have a weak immune system or are concerned about getting the flu.
However, as stated above, the flu shot is not for everyone and of course there can be pretty serious some side effects.
While many people prepare for the cold winter months by getting flu shots, the elderly are more likely than other age groups to actually get these shots.
Many times younger people do not receive this vaccine simply because they believe that serious flu related problems only occur in those aged 65 and up or those with serious health problems.
Another huge reason people, including myself choose not to get the flu shot is because of what the ingredients in the flu shot.
This is mainly because statistics show that this group of people are more prone to developing serious complications from the flu than other age groups.
However, that is not always the case.
Last year over 490,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths occured because of the flu bug according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Proper Hand Washing Prevents The Spread Of Flu
The next thing you can do to help ensure you do not pass on cold or flu viruses is to wash your hands.
Coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces such as doorknobs and telephones are all ways that a virus can easily be transmitted from one person to the other.
According to the American Society for Microbiology, a survey conducted found that most Americans only wash their hands after handling food or changing diapers, but not after coughing or sneezing.
Proper washing of your hands is necessary to eliminate any possible germs that may remain on the surface of your skin.
The CDC says you should scrub your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
However, even after proper hand washing for 20 seconds, some germs can remain on your hands.
This is why it is so important to avoid putting your hands in your mouth, rubbing your eyes, touching your face or any area on your body that has an open sore.
For those of us that homestead or are on the path to self-sufficiency, staying healthy is essential to our livelihood and lifestyle choice.
Limit Your Exposure To People During The Flu Season
Limiting exposure to infected people is another safety precaution you can employ.
For example, if you know cold or flu viruses are being spread around, avoid crowded places.
You may also want to stay away from people who you know are infected.
If avoidance is not possible, use a virus-killing disinfectant on all hard surfaces.
A Healthy Lifestyle Helps Prevent Illness
Practicing healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, exercising and getting plenty of sleep can help the immune system fight off viruses.
It is also important to understand what preventative medicines are safe to take and what ones to avoid, especially if you do end up with the flu.
Tobacco use and chronic stress are two issues that can lead to a weakened immune system, thus allowing viruses to run rampant through your body.
An interesting fact pertaining to this is that the more social a person is the less likely they are to get sick possibly because people who are social have more support and less stress in their lives.
Making these safety procedures an everyday part of your life is simply a preventative measure and may not ensure that you do not get the cold or flu viruses.
However, your risk of infection will be greatly reduced compared to someone who does not follow these practices.