According to Dr. Richard Nahas, flu season is a time that puts a lot of people on high alert each year. While the symptoms are mild and recovery is fairly weak, flu can be dangerous for older people with weaker immune systems. Let’s check out how you can avoid getting the flu this season with infection control.
1. Get the flu vaccine – The flu virus evolves and mutates each year. That’s why annual flu vaccination exists. It’s important to note that the vaccine takes around 2 weeks to become effective. So, it’s best to get the shot right before the flu season. Even if you get the flu, taking the vaccine can reduce the duration and severity of your illness.
If you’re over 65, ask your doctor if you should take a high-dose flu vaccine. These shots contain four times the antigens compared to the regular flu shot and contain immune system stimulants. For the elderly, it can be a life-saving vaccine.
2. Avoid crowds – Avoiding large crowds is difficult, especially after the pandemic when people are more eager to go out. However, it’s best to avoid large crowds during the typical 12-week flu season. It’s especially important to avoid large crowds in confined spaces like workplaces, nursing homes and schools. If you have to interact in a crowded environment, wear masks and gloves to protect yourself.
3. Wash your hands – Similar to the covid virus, the flu virus can survive on hard surfaces. That’s why you need to follow pandemic protocols and re-develop the habit of washing hands thoroughly and frequently during the flu season. This is especially important after using the bathroom, or before cooking and eating food.
Carry a small bottle of sanitizing gel with you so that you can kill the flu virus on your hands when soap isn’t available. Sanitizers would be especially useful when you leave your home and touch surfaces in public places like switches, counters and doorknobs. You also need to make a conscious effort not to touch your nose, mouth and eyes when not necessary.
4. Clean and disinfect surfaces – Keeping your hands clean and sanitized isn’t enough. The same needs to be done for the surfaces around you. If someone in your home has the flu, you can contain the spread of the virus by sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces. Wipe down doorknobs, light switches, phones, and other high-touch surfaces with a potent disinfectant cleaner.
You also need to make sure that the infected person is quarantined in their room. If you need to provide care to a sick person, make sure to wear face masks, goggles, gloves and other such gear.
Dr. Richard Nahas believes that most people treat the flu season lightly due to symptoms like fever, runny nose, fatigue and sore throat. However, it’s important to note that the flu virus is highly contagious. While you may recover quickly, it’s especially dangerous for the elderly at your home.