This is a 10 step guide to help prevent you from catching the flu or swine flu this flu season. I appreciate the input from Dr Dave Woynarowski in preparing this guide.
- Wash you hands and wash them often.
- Keep your hands out of your mouth and your nose.
- Do not count on the shots to give you complete immunity; rather, be an active participant in flu prevention.
- Eat well, get plenty of rest (7-8 hours per night) in order that your immune system can be at full strength.
- The normal flu season is from October through April. Swine flu can be sporadic and hit at any time, especially if you are around someone who has been to an infected area or has recently had swine flu. The CDC now says that you may infect someone up to 18 days after all symptoms are gone away (swine flu).
- The flu virus (swine or not) mutates rapidly and changes much faster than we can ever hope to develop an effective vaccine given our present technology, thus, the hope is that the vaccine will give you “some immunity”.
- Avoid sick areas (hospitals, nursing homes, etc) as much as possible. Swine flu has not seemed to affect the elderly up to this time.
- If you are sick to begin with (diabetes, heart disease, lung disease,cancer, etc) and you thus have a compromised immune system, be especially aggressive concerning numbers 1-7 above.
- If you are over 60 years of age, you probably should get a flu shot, according to the CDC. There may be several different flu shots this season.
- Flu shots can make you sick sometimes, so check with your physician if he/she believes you should have one. Always remember, getting sick is better than dying.