Tips for Staying Flu-Free

Posted on January 29, 2016

Flu season is in full swing, with your odds of catching the bug spiking in the post-holiday season. Getting laid up with the flu is no fun, so it is important to take practical steps to reduce your risk. If you do find yourself feeling ill, the experts at Peconic Bay Medical Center can help.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

One of the best lines of attack against the flu virus is simple: wash your hands. When washing, make sure to use hot water and soap. Lather well, scrubbing between your fingers and underneath fingernails. Be careful to wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating. It’s also smart to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to cleanse your hands when you are on the go.iStock_000090884463_Small_1.jpg

Get the Flu Vaccine

If you haven’t gotten the flu vaccine yet, do so now. The flu vaccine protects you against the most common strains of the influenza virus for this flu season. The most prevalent strains of the virus change constantly, so you will need a new flu vaccine each year to keep yourself safe.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose or Mouth

Viruses are most likely to enter your body through the eyes and nose. Unfortunately, many of us absent-mindedly touch these areas throughout the day. Try to avoid touching your eyes, rubbing your nose, or touching your mouth with bare hands. This prevents the influenza virus from entering your body and making you sick.

Avoid Contact With Sick People

If your Aunt Susie has a terrible cough, forego the hug and wash your hands frequently. Steering clear of sick friends, family, or coworkers is a great way to keep yourself healthy. If you do become sick, stay home to prevent further spreading of the virus.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Many people are already ringing in the new year with dietary resolutions, but eating healthily can also prevent you from catching the flu. A good diet keeps your immune system strong, preventing the influenza virus from taking hold. Make sure to stay well hydrated by drinking water or tea throughout the day. Also, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables -- particularly vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges or leafy green vegetables -- to boost your immune system.

Taking action against the spread of influenza virus is a smart way to keep yourself healthy this year. If you do get sick, contact a Peconic Bay Medical Center Primary Care doctor right away. Your doctor may be able to prescribe antiviral medications or make other recommendations to help you get well.