How to Stay Healthy: Avoiding the Flu

Posted on September 11, 2009  Comments (3)

It is no secret that washing your hands is a great strategy to stay healthy. Still few people take care to wash their hands thoroughly frequently during each day. The H1N1 Flu is just the latest sickness that washing your hands protects you from.

The CDC recommends you take these everyday steps to protect your health to protect yourself from the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Though the scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful for killing flu germs on hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • And to keep others healthy you should

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. [others also suggest coughing into you elbow instead of your hands, again to reduce the spread of germs.]
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

The spread of this 2009 H1N1 flu is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

The incidence of H1N1flu is likely to be high this flu season based on results in the Southern Hemishpere. Symptoms are those of the flu: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue; can include diarrhea and vomiting.

The CDC includes weekly flu statistics on their web site. Since mid-April to August 30, 2009, a total of 9,079 hospitalizations and 593 deaths associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been reported to CDC an increase from 8,843 hospitalizations and 556 deaths from the prior week.

Related: New and Old Ways to Make Flu VaccinesGoogle Flu Leading Indicatorposts on the fluStudy Shows Why the Flu Likes WinterReducing the Impact of a Flu Pandemic

Single Swine Flu Shot Gives Immunity in Early Tests

Adults are immune to swine flu after just one shot of vaccine, early test results suggest. It’s a surprise finding. Most experts expected that two shots of the vaccine — given three weeks apart — would be needed.

U.S. trials of swine flu vaccine are underway. It remains to be seen whether these studies will support the Australian findings.

H1N1 vaccine will arrive too late, scientists warn

Swine flu is likely to reach its epidemic peak this fall a full month before Canada has vaccines to prevent it, a major new study shows.

Indeed, vaccines will come too late to stop H1N1’s spread across North America, according to the paper published today in the journal Science.

Had a vaccine been available for mass inoculations this month, the virus’ spread would have been no worse than a typical seasonal flu outbreak, the paper says.

But with large-scale vaccinations unlikely to begin until mid-October in the United States and a month later in Canada, they will do little to protect millions of North Americans from infection, study researchers say.

3 Responses to “How to Stay Healthy: Avoiding the Flu”

  1. Neha
    October 7th, 2009 @ 4:19 am

    Exercise can also help you reduce chances of acquiring the flu, besides helping you lose weight.

  2. Brian D. Hawkins
    October 7th, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    I can’t help but feel the entire issue has been hyped up far too much but even so, it’s almost a public responsibility at this point to stay healthy. Personally, I feel it’s pretty selfish not to get the Swine Flu shot. I hear people saying they don’t need it but what about those they come in contact with daily? And if we do get sick, calling in and staying home should be required. Working through it seems almost criminal. Just my two cents, good tips.

  3. Zadi A.
    May 24th, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    I strongly agree that, washing hands at regular intervals can help in avoiding flu. Few days back I had a debate with my friend on the same topic, and I won it 🙂
    Btw, I would like are hand sanitizers also equally effective against germs or not?

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