It might start with body aches and a chill. Other times a sudden fever or fatigue. Unlike the common cold, you know when you’ve been struck with influenza. Defined by the Center for Disease Control as a contagious respiratory
virus, the flu spreads through coughing, sneezing, shaking hands or conversing. By touching surfaces around work and home already contaminated then touching your facial area, the infection is granted access to your body.
Each year, the flu is responsible for more than five million ailments worldwide. Squarely in the high-risk category are children, those who are chronically ill, and the elderly. So far this year, the largest uptick in nationwide visits to the doctor with flu-like symptoms is at 1.9 percent of the United States population. This number is sure to climb as the season rolls on, with the peak of flu season being in February.
And while the actual start of flu season is a tricky prediction, the World Health Organization notes that temperate climates (like Florida) can see the flu season before meteorological winter. This is due in part to the humid climate. The flu may last as long as two weeks, so be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep you, your friends, coworkers and family healthy. Here’s what you can do to take action before influenza finds you:
- Take every chance to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
- Use antibacterial wipes on frequently-used devices like door knobs and keyboards.
- Sneeze into your armpit instead of your hand to avoid the spread of germs.
- Consider taking a daily vitamin C or B12 supplement.
- Schedule a flu shot with your doctor every year.