One Of The Worst Things That Can Happen To You Now Is The Flu: How To Prevent ItRemember: Getting a flu shot is one of your family’s best bets at preventing the illness.CREATED WITH GLAXOSMITHKLINE PHILIPPINES, INC
Influenza, or flu, is highly contagious, which makes it one of the most common respiratory illnesses caused by viruses.
Widespread transmission of this illness occur, that's why it's important to always keep the immune system strong–especially today with the COVID-19 pandemic, which experts are trying to control and find a cure for.
Moms, keep in mind that having a strong immune system is crucial now more than ever. You can help boost it by helping your family practice healthy habits. Here are some of them:
1. Develop good personal hygiene habits
This is said to be the first line of defense as it stops the spread of germs and viruses to other people. Good practices include:
- Frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds before and after handling high-touch objects and surfaces like tables, light switches, doorknobs, and more.
- Covering the mouth and nose whenever you sneeze or cough, or coughing into the elbow instead of the hand
- Avoiding touching the mouth, eyes, and nose
- Not picking on cuts and other wounds to prevent germs and viruses from entering the body through them.
2. Maintain a diet that includes fruits and vegetables
They’re natural sources of immunity-boosting nutrients and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamins C, D, and E. Go for carrots, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oranges, mangoes, seeds and nuts, spinach, and broccoli.
Aside from eating fruits and vegetables, you can help the whole family develop a healthy diet further by providing a variety of foods like grains, legumes, and foods from animal sources; using moderate amounts of fats and oils; and using less salt and sugar.
3. Get enough sleep
Try to avoid pagpupuyat whenever possible and make sure to get between 7 and 16 hours of sleep per day, depending on the age group. Encourage the whole family to develop good sleeping habits by sticking to a consistent sleep and wake-up schedule. Feel free to take naps, too, especially if your sleep schedule is interrupted for one reason or another.
4. Maintain a clean household
This goes beyond making sure your home is spick-and-span. You need to disinfect and sanitize surfaces and other areas, like tables, floors, light switches, faucets, remote controls, toys, doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, and more.
To properly get rid of bacteria and germs, start by cleaning objects and surfaces with soap and water. Then, disinfect or sanitize using chemical products. Make sure they’re dry before using or touching them again.
5. Get the whole family vaccinated against flu
Of course, practicing these habits alone won't protect you against the flu. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the most effective way to prevent flu is through vaccination. The flu vaccine can be given anytime during the year but experts recommend getting it before the peak of flu season, which usually starts in June here in our country.
The flu vaccine is for everyone 6 months and older — that includes every member of the household, from parents, children, and lolo and lola, to even the helpers. But the WHO has emphasized that it is "especially important" among "people at high risk of influenza complications, and for people who live with or care for the people at high risk":
- Pregnant women
- Children under 5 years of age
- Adults over 65
- Individuals with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, COPD, heart and kidney diseases)
- Healthcare workers
Make sure to talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated against flu as there are contraindications to vaccination.
Take note that while the flu and COVID-19 may show some similarities, the cures aren't the same.
A flu shot does not guarantee you will not get the flu, but it reduces your risk. And if you do contract the flu, your symptoms will be milder.
Call your family doctor or a clinic near you to determine your flu vaccine schedule.
Follow these tips to ensure every member of your family remains protected against illnesses.
Click here to learn more about flu and prevention methods. Remember: "Ang may flu shot, big shot." If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
Information displayed on this webpage is intended for Philippine residents and is not designed to replace the advice of your healthcare professional.