The influenza virus affects millions of patients per year, with a season beginning in September and running through the winter until around Memorial Day. With between 100,000 and 800,000 hospitalizations and up to 60,000 deaths each year, making sure you and your family are prepared for flu season and doing what you can to prevent the spread and avoid catching the disease. Follow these steps to avoid the flu this year!
Teach your children good health habits to follow
The influenza virus is highly contagious and can quickly spread through classrooms, offices, apartment buildings and even your own home. The flu can spread by people who are infected sneezing and coughing, sending the virus through droplets in the air where they can land on surfaces, contaminating them, or reach the eyes, nose or mouth of surrounding individuals. Habits that can reduce the spread of the flu include:
- Avoiding crowds and being in close proximity to others who are sick or when you are feeling unwell
- Staying home when you are feeling flu-like symptoms, staying home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks.
- Covering your mouth and nose with the crook of your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Dispose of tissues immediately after use.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water throughout the day and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wipe down commonly used surfaces and objects at least twice per day to kill germs.
Adding immune-system-boosting foods to your diet
A strong immune system will help you stay healthy and provide resistance against viral infections and other illnesses. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet, getting at least seven hours of sleep per night and getting at least a moderate amount of exercise each day will help boost your immune system. While most gyms are still closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are many forms of exercise you can perform from the comfort of your own home or at a safe distance from others, including going for walks or runs around the neighborhood or doing pushups, situps and following online workout routines in your living room.
Get a flu shot
A flu shot is the most effective way you can prevent catching the flu. The flu shot is engineered each year to provide immunity against the active strain of the virus each year and provides immunity for up to six months. The flu shot takes about two weeks to take effect as your body develops antibodies for the current strain of the virus. The vaccine is recommended for anyone over the age of six months and especially for those who may develop complications from the virus, including the elderly, pregnant women, young children and patients with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. AFC Urgent Care Southcenter will be able to administer flu shots to walk-in patients after this year’s flu shot is approved and delivered by the CDC.
Walk-In Flu Shots & Flu Treatment in Southcenter, Kent, Renton, SeaTac & Tukwila, WA
If you are interested in getting extra protection for yourself and your family this flu season, visit AFC Urgent Care Southcenter for flu shots! The flu shot is the most effective way you can protect yourself against the influenza virus, and because the flu mutates each year, it is important to get an updated vaccination. For questions, please call 425-970-8117.