I’m not sure if this is the same for everyone, but I know when the weather starts going haywire so does my body. One day it’s warm, sunny and 60 the next it is cold, windy and 35. While this is something that cannot be controlled, something you can control is how you take care of yourself. This is the prime season for the flu, so make sure you are prepared.
The first step is to educate yourself, your friends, your family and your work associates about the flu. It is known as ‘Influenza’ but most people just call it the flu. It is contagious, and it affects the respiratory system by different influenza viruses. The infection can be mild to severe and the most severe outcomes can lead to being admitted to a hospital or even dying.
Symptoms to look for are: Fever, Chills, Cough, Sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, headaches, fatigue or tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea. It is also good to know that it is possible to not have a fever and still have the flu. More often than not, anyone who gets the flu generally start to feel better within a few days to less than two weeks. However, some can develop complications.
People most at risk for complications are the elderly, young children and people who have various health conditions. If you or someone you know fits into those categories, they are most at risk for serious health complications if they get the flu. These complications can be other illness such as: pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus or ear infections. If you already have a prior health condition, you could experience a flare up or a worsening of that condition. An example would be if you have asthma, you may experience asthma attacks while having the flu.
How does the flu spread you may find yourself asking? The first way is person to person. Someone who is contagious can spread it to other people up to 6ft away. The experts think that the droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk are what spread the virus to other people. As gross as it may sound, these droplets can land in/on the mouths or noses of people who are close by and then inhaled into the lungs.
Healthy adults can spread to others 1 day before symptoms show and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. Children can spread to others longer than a 7 day time frame.
Symptoms can begin 1-4 days after initial exposure to the body, which means that you could possibly spread this to others before you even know you’re sick.
How can you prevent getting the flu? Make sure you get your vaccination! No one likes to get shots, but if it can prevent you from a life threatening situation (especially if you fit into the high risk category) shouldn’t you take it? This season’s flu vaccine is said to prevent against the more common strands: influenza A (H1N1) virus, influenza A (H3N2) virus or one to two influenza B strands (but this is dependent upon the flu vaccine).
Another way to prevent the flu is to try and stay away from others who are sick and STAY HOME if you are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water (sanitize with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to a water source). Don’t share cookware with people who are sick unless you wash them well AND separately. Lastly, make sure you clean/disinfect at home, work and school if you know that someone is sick.
The flu doesn’t have to be scary. Educate yourself and others because you never know who around you may be sick.
If you are in need of supplies, check out our website: safetysupplyillinois.com. We offer a variety of disposable gloves, respirators and sanitizers that can help you keep safe this flu season.
If you have more questions, call one of our Safety Specialists and they would be more than happy to answer your questions. 630-406-9666
Thanks and have a safe day!