As the colder months are creeping up on us, we know what is on everyone’s mind. Will I catch the flu? How do I prevent getting sick this season? Here at Sunshine Medical Clinic, we understand your concerns about the winter months and are here to help. Health experts are currently warning Australia is on the track for a high flu season with growing numbers compared to the winter in previous years. We have gathered our most helpful tips to assist you in achieving the healthiest winter and thriving during flu season.
It is becoming more common to catch the flu or start getting flu-like symptoms during the colder months between April to October. During this period, taking the right provisions may reduce your chance of becoming ill or contagious to others. In order to discuss the tips for surviving flu season, we must first understand what the flu is.
What is the Flu?
The flu, which is also referred as influenza, is a viral respiratory illness. It is often confused with the common cold however, flu symptoms also include fever, cold sweats, exhaustion, aches throughout the body and headache and even some gastrointestinal symptoms, for example diarrhoea and vomiting. It is important to become aware of your own symptoms as the flu is highly contagious and adults are able to spread the virus one day prior to the appearance of symptoms and also up to seven days after the symptoms has started.
How to prevent getting the Flu
In preparing for the flu season it is important to practice healthy habits. Receiving a flu vaccine protects you from viruses that are common for this year and you can receive more information about vaccinations from our Sunshine clinic as we have vaccine doctors on site. However, to take care of the rest of winter’s germs there are some ways to prevent the flu in your everyday life:
- Washing your hands or use of hand-sanitizer: It is important to regularly wash your hand or use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer. Remember that this will get rid of the bacteria and associated viruses that cause the flu.
- If possible, avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands: This relates to the first tip, touching a contaminated object leaves germs on your hands which can increase the chance of the flu. When you do need to touch your face, wash your hands first.
- Eat well, stay active and getting a good night’s sleep: In keeping a healthy immune system it will help you fight off winter illnesses. Also, managing stress will increase your immune function.
- Stay away from people who are sick: The symptoms of the flu are easily spread and therefore, it is important to stay away from close contact with those who are infected. Especially at work, it is important to avoid areas that have a lot of people to reduce the chance of touching someone sick.
- Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you get flu symptoms: It is important to contact your Sunshine GP if you require any further assistance. They will provide you with tips specific to your individual health.
Treating the Flu
If you do get sick in the next few months, the first course of action when you get the flu is to rest and drink a lot of fluids. The symptoms will depend on the specific type of illness the individual has contracted. You will still need to practice prevention techniques for the flu when you get sick such as maintaining healthy habits to shorten your recovery. During the time you are ill, you can easily spread germs around to other people and therefore you will need to be aware of your coughing and sneezing, making sure you use a tissue to stop germs from going airborne. If your work or school allows it, it will be a good idea to stay at home to avoid getting into contact with your peers.
If you are experiencing any uncomfortable symptoms and would like further information on preventing yourself from the flu, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Sunshine bulk billing doctors who are only a phone call away to help you thrive this winter.