While there is no way to guarantee that you won't get the flu, there are measures you can take to minimise your risk. According to the Australian Government, they estimate that 13500 people in Australia each year are hospitalised due to flu complications, with 3000 people dying.
Even if you don't develop any complications, the flu is an unpleasant, debilitating illness that prevents you from going to work or school. Learn more about the signs and symptoms here.
How to avoid getting the flu, or to at least lessen your chance, is a multi-tiered approach from getting the flu shot to making sure you are eating well. Here are our tips:
1. Get the flu vaccine
The flu shot is perhaps the most successful way you can help prevent contracting and spreading the flu. Anyone above six months old can get the flu shot. We especially recommend at-risk groups, such as the young and elderly, pregnant women and those with health conditions, get the vaccination.
If you aren't in an at-risk group, fully healthy people can still get the flu. Also, by getting the flu shot, you contribute to community immunity which will help prevent spreading the flu.
If you are getting the flu shot, it is best to get it done in mid-April to May as the vaccination lasts for three to four months and will therefore be working through the height of flu season.
At The Clinic, we do flu shots. If you'd like to book an appointment, please call us on 03 9741 1200 or book online.
2. Develop or maintain healthy habits
Eat well, drink plenty of fluids, exercise and try and get eight hours of sleep each night. All these factors contribute to a healthy immune system which can help stave off the flu. In winter, supplements such as Vitamin D and Vitamin C, or a general multivitamin can be helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system and are an important step in how to avoid getting the flu.
3. Practice good hygiene
By this, we're not talking about your showering habits. We mean:
Wash your hands regularly
Sterilise your environment and surfaces that you commonly touch, such as your keyboard, work surfaces, door handles etc
Avoid contact or close proximity with those who are sick with the flu.
Avoid touching your eyes and mouth. If you must, make sure you wash your hands first.
If you do get the flu, dispose of your tissues and avoid close contact with others. Cover your mouth and nose with tissues if you sneeze or cough. Also, it is best to avoid food preparation.
4. Try not to share
In the colder months, it is best to avoid sharing food, drinks and even towels with others. So, don't use communal hand towels etc.
We hope you have found our tips on how to avoid getting the flu helpful. If you would like more detailed advice, or to book in for a flu shot, please contact us - 03 9741 1200.
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