Flu season is fast approaching and some feel that it may break out a lot earlier than usual. In the UK, flu season has usually been between December and March, however it has been common for outbreaks to occur as early as October and lasting until May.
Working within the health and social care industry (or most industries) you are likely to come into contact with a variety of people on a day to day basis. Whether it’s on your commute or within your work environment, the likelihood of catching germs will unfortunately increase.
The flu vaccine is widely considered as the most popular prevention method, however, it is not always enough. Therefore, we have created this article on additional ways to help you prevent catching the flu, any flu symptoms to look out for and treatment techniques should you get the flu.
There are many smart tips you can implement into your daily routine to prevent catching the flu. We can’t guarantee you will never fall ill, but it can surely reduce the risk!
- The flu vaccine: The flu vaccine is the most common prevention technique to help people reduce the risk of catching the flu and it also prevents spreading it to others. You can receive the flu jab at your GP surgery, a local pharmacy offering the service or even your midwifery service if they offer it for pregnant women.
- Wash your hands: Our hands come into contact with a range of things, from door handles to hand rails, so we tend to pick up a range of germs. Washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds is essential to create friction and kill bacteria. Equally, carrying a small bottle of hand sanitiser is a smart investment!
- Avoid touching your face: Touching contaminated surfaces with germs and then proceeding to touch your face and eyes can allow flu virus to enter your body.
- Practice good hygiene: Having clean surfaces and objects around your home and in your office reduces chances of spreading germs and catching the flu.
If you feel like you may have the flu, here are the most common symptoms you may experience:
- Fever – Body Temperature over 38 degrees
- Aching Body
- Dry, chesty cough
- Sore Throat
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhoea /Tummy Pain
- Nausea and Vomiting
Should you catch the flu virus, there are a number of methods to help you get better quickly!
- Rest up: After all, you are sick and very contagious! It is best you stay at home, rest up and let your body fight against the virus.
- Stay Hydrated: Liquid intake is essential and it doesn’t have to only be water! Fruit juices and even soups are great ways to flush out any mucus inside your body. Which is good, because if it builds up in your lungs it could lead to an infection.
- Steam: Filling a bowl with hot water, adding a teaspoon of over-the-counter menthol rub and breathing in the steam for a few minutes can help open up your airways. Similarly, hot showers can also do the trick, thinning out any mucus inside your body, in order to allow it leave your body.
- Medicine: Your local pharmacist can recommend what medicine is best suited for the symptoms you may have. Also, paracetamol and ibuprofen are really useful to lower body temperature and reduce aches and pains.
On some occasions, the flu can have detrimental side effects. If you receive these symptoms, call 999 or visit A&E.
- Develop sudden chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Start coughing up blood
We hope that you have found this blog article useful in preparation for the upcoming flu season. Make sure to take care of yourselves this winter!