With fall and winter upon us, the flu season is here as well. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including colds and COVID-19.
The flu and other respiratory viruses are spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or laughs. You can become infected by breathing in these particles or by touching surfaces they’re on and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
At Family Urgent Care, with locations in Schererville, Indiana, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, we offer comprehensive family medicine as well as walk-in urgent care when you’re feeling unwell.
We also understand the value of preventive action, especially when it comes to halting the spread of viruses. So we’ve put together this helpful list of our top five tips for how to keep your family safe this flu season and all year long.
1. Get a flu shot
September and October are the best months to get your flu shot for optimal protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every person age 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year. The team at Family Urgent Care offers flu vaccines as part of our family medicine care and no appointments are needed.
2. Wash your hands regularly
Bacteria and viruses can live on many surfaces, including things that are touched frequently, such counters and doorknobs. When you touch a surface with the virus and then touch your face, you can become infected.
Be sure to wash your hands with soap and hot water after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing. When you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol to kill any viruses.
3. Avoid close contact
Maintaining a bit of distance from other people is always a good idea during flu season. By following social distancing guidelines in place due to COVID-19, you can also help slow the spread of the flu.
Don’t shake hands or kiss people outside of your household. Furthermore, avoid touching potential contaminated surfaces, such as handrails, doorknobs, handles, and other people’s phones.
4. Try not to touch your face
By avoiding touching your face — especially your eyes, nose, and mouth — as much as possible, you can help keep yourself and your family safe this flu season. It can be a difficult habit to break, but it’s a sure way to cut down on your risk of getting infected by a virus.
This year, due to COVID-19, the CDC recommends keeping your mouth and nose covered when around people from outside of your household. Wearing a mask or facial covering may help reduce your risk of getting or spreading viruses.
5. Keep things clean
Since viruses can live on surfaces, it’s important to clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched frequently, especially if you have young children. Disinfectant wipes are extremely useful, but you can also use household cleaning sprays to help keep surfaces germ-free.
To learn more about keeping you and your family safe this flu season, book an appointment online or over the phone with Family Urgent Care today. We also welcome walk-ins.