No one is 100 percent sure how flu season will go this year, especially provided COVID-19-related complications. Fortunately, the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit medical center, was generous enough to note some key health precautions concerning the impending illness. Here are a few tips to help you decrease your chances of catching the flu this COVID-19 season.
1. Get a Flu Shot
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently stressing the importance of getting a flu shot this year. Flu shots are essential in preventing the spread of this highly infectious disease to your loved ones and your community. Annual studies from CDC flu shot reports indicate that the vaccine can profoundly decrease chances of contracting stronger flu-like symptoms or can even reduce the chance of catching the illness altogether. More information on flu vaccine studies can be found here.
Medical professionals recommend getting your flu shot early in the fall to beat the prominent surge of flu that arrives later in the year. People 6 months and older are encouraged to get the shot. Those with higher risks of attaining the flu are especially encouraged. The CDC reports a list of high risk individuals here.
2. Follow Regular Safety Precautions
With the surge of COVID-19, a new era of social distancing, wearing protective gear, and washing our hands multiple times throughout the day has become the norm. The silver lining is these practices can be highly beneficial in staying healthy against the flu, so you are already likely taking steps to protect yourself from the flu.
Like coronavirus, the flu is highly contagious and can be spread through touching infected surfaces or the face, physical contact, respiratory droplets, and more. Continuing to wash your hands thoroughly, keep considerable space apart from others, and wear facial covers can improve chances of not contracting the flu. Here is a CDC guide on how to properly wash hands.
3. Report Any Sudden Illness to Medical Professionals
Common flu symptoms often include fatigue, fever, cough, chills, and headaches. Many COVID-19 symptoms are similar. In the event of you experiencing these symptoms or if you suspect you have COVID, it is highly advised for you to tell your primary physician. Avoid contact with other people and stay home if possible until testing occurs.
If a test for coronavirus is reported positive, it’s necessary for you to remain self quarantined at home for at least 10 days according to the CDC. They have also listed more protective and safety guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
4. Have Medicine Readily Available Medicine At Home
Since coming into contact with COVID-19 can lead to you being quarantined (or simply taking sick days with the flu) at home, it is a good idea to have nearby medications at hand. Popular over the counter drugs that aid in muscle relaxation or fever relief are usually cheap and easy to attain.
A couple medications you should consider keeping close by are: Advil, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Robitussin, Claritin, and cough syrups. It is also smart to keep hand sanitizers and soap stocked within the home too.
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