How to Avoid the Flu

How to Avoid the Flu

With October just around the corner, it is time to begin thinking about how you are going to avoid the flu this year. The flu can mean being out of school or work for over a week and even worse for some people who are vulnerable to more severe flu complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting your yearly flu vaccine before the end of October to ensure that it has been in your body long enough before flu season.  The flu vaccine will protect you from the flu virus that is the most common and that you are most likely to get. Young children, adults over 65, people who are pregnant, and people with chronic health conditions are at risk for having severe health complications from the flu. For these people getting the flu vaccine is even more crucial.

After being vaccinated, the next step to preventing the flu is being cautious about the spreading of germs. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that many other people touch, such as public railings.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially after you have been in contact with public surfaces that may carry germs.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Keep an alcohol based disinfectant on you at all times for when you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Get sleep and have a well-balanced diet during flu season. This will help to keep your immune system strong.

If you do become sick with flu symptoms, take the following measures to avoid spreading the virus any further.

  • Take the medicine that your doctor has prescribed to you.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
  • Throw away the tissue after blowing your nose.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone for 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects you touched while sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.

No one wants to get the flu, so do what you can to prevent getting it this year. There is no reason not to get your annual flu vaccine, you are only harming yourself and the people you spend most of your time with.

 

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

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