Flu season in New Orleans is in full effect at the moment, and many people are falling prey to it. As a precaution, it’s always a good idea to get a flu shot when flu season begins. However, you can still catch the flu after getting the shot (although your chances become much slimmer and the illness is generally reduced) and some people may forego getting vaccinated. The trick to navigating your way through the flu if unfortunate enough to catch it is minimizing your symptoms and making sure it passes as quickly as possible.
Again, the best way to avoid catching the flu in the first place is to get vaccinated early! Flu shots are fairly cheap and can be given in most drug stores. This will drastically reduce your chances of catching the flu and can help to guard against the more nasty strains of the virus that can change from year to year. Put it on your to-do list once flu season is in effect to help avoid a bout with the flu that can leave you feeling miserable!
If you have recently contracted the flu, a few rules of thumb that are old standbys can go a long way in making sure that you get over it quickly:
- Get plenty of bed rest and hydrate! It’s important to catch up on as much sleep as you can, as your body will feel exhausted. Any strenuous physical activity could prolong your illness or make it worse. Hydration is important because your body can lose a lot of fluids when you’re sick, and dehydration is always a concern. Stay away from sodas and stick with juices, water, and sports drinks to replenish what your body may lose.
- When ill with the flu, stay home and away from others! While taking sick time from work may be a bit of a hassle and a stress in its own right, it’s important that you remain removed from others as much as possible when you have the flu. You could run the risk of spreading the virus to others, who could also further contaminate other co-workers. Also, you need to make sure your already weakened immune system doesn’t come in contact with any other illnesses that may be present in the workplace. Stay home, and stay in bed or on the couch as much as possible!
- It’s also important to remember that while your immune system is under attack, stay away from alcohol and smoking! These activities can make your illness worse or prolong its symptoms.
- When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow rather than your hand. This helps to make sure you don’t contaminate surfaces around you. Also, try to wash your hands frequently. Especially if you are sharing space with others, ensuring that your hands do not spread contagion is important. Ideally, you’d like to get over the flu quickly and not spread it to friends or loved ones!