After last year’s severe flu season, many families are worried about what the holiday season might bring. Just like every year, doctors and researchers at the CDC have been hard at work studying the virus and how it is mutating this year to keep families everywhere prepared for the flu season. With this in mind, The Colony ER Hospital wants to give everyone in our community a crash course in seasonal flu causes, prevention, and treatment.
What Causes the Flu
The flu is one of those pesky illnesses which no one is free from, like colds, upset stomachs, and even childhood chickenpox. News reports every year talk about how many people have gotten the flu and when to get flu shots, but for many people, the threat of the flu might seem far away. For healthy people who rarely get sick, you might think that personal fortitude is enough to stay safe from winter illnesses.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the flu, this is rarely the case.
The flu, known medically as influenza, is a virus which adapts quickly every year. As a virus, it can never be completely cured, so when it evolves every autumn into a newer kind of flu, it makes people of all ages vulnerable to it year after year. This means that even if you got the flu a few years ago, you can still get sick with it again, and the symptoms might be more severe the second or third time you get sick.
While there is no single cause for someone to get sick with the flu, we do know how it spreads. The flu spreads from contact with other people. Anyone who sneezes or coughs into open air can be spreading the flu and sharing food or drinks with others is also a fast way to spread the flu. Since it spreads so easily from person-to-person, it makes preventative care important for your family’s seasonal health.
How to Prevent the Flu
Family remedies and seasonal superstitions are everywhere which give advice on how to prevent the flu, but in reality, there is no one way to prevent the flu save for a flu vaccine. When it comes to preventative medicine, vaccines are the best at keeping away nasty illnesses. The flu vaccine is no different, and as this vaccine is improved and strengthened every year by medical scientists, it gets better and better at preventing the flu.
For some families, though, flu vaccines aren’t an option, or sometimes someone you know starts getting sick before you have had a chance to get vaccinated. In situations like these, it helps to know some of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and viruses in daily life.
- Wash your hands! Keeping your hands clean with regular washing before meals and after using the restroom are good ways to make sure you don’t transfer any germs to your food or surroundings.
- Cover your cough! Keeping coughs and sneezes properly covered with either tissues or muffled in the crook of your elbow. Making sure you and your family covers up their sneezes and coughs will limit whatever flu-related germs spread through the air.
- Get your vitamins! A healthy diet is always important, but when you are trying to fortify your immune system, it is always a good idea to make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Vitamins C and E and antioxidants are all both found naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These will help to boost your immune system and keep your body ready to fight the flu.
Making sure you wash your hands, cover your sneezes or coughs, and get your body enough vitamin C, then you can keep yourself safe from not only the flu, but many colds and smaller viruses that spread this time of year. To keep your family safe from influenza, though, your best method will be to get flu vaccinations.
Treating the Flu
Sometimes, no matter our best efforts, we still get sick. After last year’s severe flu season in which many people were hospitalized, families might be worried about what this year’s flu season can do. First and foremost, we want to encourage patients not to panic if they find themselves feeling sick with the flu. There are methods for treating the flu that will help people of all ages get back to their usual selves.
If you or a family begins to exhibit flu symptoms, then you will first want to see a doctor. It is vital to get swabbed for the flu so that doctors can help you get the best treatment as well as track the flu’s progress in your community. Once you have a doctor’s diagnosis, you might be prescribed flu-specific medications to fight back against the virus.
Other than your doctor’s recommended treatment, flu patients do best some good old-fashioned R&R. Make sure you get plenty of sleep if you’re feeling ill, as your body will spend up a lot of energy battling the flu. Vitamin-rich foods like homemade soup can help you keep your body nourished, and a bit of natural fruit juice for a vitamin C boost helps as well.
This year’s flu season is already in progress, so in the event that you or someone you love is suffering from flu symptoms or their flu is not going away, you might want to seek emergency medical treatment. The Colony ER Hospital is available for you 24/7, even over holidays, with concierge-level care. Our staff of highly trained doctors and nurses are ready to treat patients of all ages and help you get through this year’s flu season. We offer flu shots for all ages as part of our out-patient medical care.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony Emergency Room Hospital or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.