How to Protect Your Family from the Flu Virus
Over the centuries, influenza epidemics have killed millions of people, and today, despite great advances in medicine, flu is still fatal for some members of the population. Flu is a common virus, but some strains of it are more dangerous than others. You can catch flu all year round, but the virus tends to be a lot more prevalent during the winter months.
Flu is a nasty illness whatever your age, but older people and the very young are most at risk from the effects of the flu virus. Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid catching any virus unless you become a hermit, but you can minimise the chances of your family being struck down with flu this year if you follow a few simple rules.
Get Your Flu Jab
Being vaccinated against the flu can help to prevent the spread of the disease. It won’t prevent you from catching the flu, but it will stop you getting really ill. Certain vulnerable people will be offered a flu vaccination in the autumn. This includes the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with a chronic illness such as diabetes. It is very important that you attend your flu clinic appointment if you receive a notification, so don’t ignore the reminder.
Stay Away from Sick People
Sounds obvious, but quarantining your family from sick people is a good way of avoiding catching the flu. This doesn’t mean you should barricade yourself indoors and ostracise anyone with a slight sniffle, but do make a point of asking friends and relatives to stay away if they have a bad cold, especially if you have a baby or elderly relative living in your home.
Wash Hands and Clean Surfaces Regularly
Practicing good hygiene will help to prevent the spread of any nasty viruses, including influenza. Most viruses can’t survive outside the human body for more than a few hours, but infections are easily spread from one person to another via door handles, light switches and other hard surfaces. Washing hands regularly is sensible, as is using a hand sanitizer spray. You should also consider regularly cleaning hard surfaces, for example with one of the steam cleaners from Karcher. Steam kills 99.99% of all bacteria and these tools can be used to disinfect all types of hard surface, from tiled floors to kitchen worktops and hobs.
Eating healthily keeps the immune system in good working order. For this reason, try and make sure your family eat plenty of fruit and vegetables every day. This will help to ensure they are getting enough vitamins and minerals in their daily diet. Exercise is also very important. Most kids don’t do anything like enough exercise, so if your kids are prone to spending all of their free time glued to a games console or computer, encourage them to try a new sport.
If you are unlucky enough to catch the flu, stay at home and try to rest as much as possible. Most people recover after a week or so, but if your symptoms worsen, ask your doctor for advice.