Fall is in the air and that means that the cold and flu season is quickly approaching. As flu season gets closer, it is important to be aware of the ways to prevent contracting the virus. While there is no guarantee that you won’t get sick, taking the proper preventative steps will reduce your risk. Here’s our quick guide to help you stay healthy this cold and flu season!
The most important step you can take in protecting against the flu is to get your annual vaccination! According to the CDC, less than half of Americans got vaccinated last year. This led to about 410,000 people being hospitalized due to influenza.
The flu vaccine protects against the four most common flu viruses. While the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it will help reduce the severity of the illness if you do contract it. It will also reduce the burden on the healthcare system. The more people are vaccinated, the more effective the vaccine will be. Since influenza doesn’t appear in North America until around December, people may choose to wait to get their vaccine. The CDC recommends people be vaccinated by late October but people can get the vaccine before, if it is available.
Wash Your Hands
Our hands come in contact with various surfaces on a daily basis. This increases the chances of coming in contact with a contaminated surface. Washing your hands with soap and water is an easy and effective step to take to avoid getting sick with the flu. If you do not have water and soap readily available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an effective alternative. It is recommended that the hand sanitizer used has at least a 60% alcohol content.
Cover Your Mouth & Nose
The flu spreads through droplets from people coughing, sneezing, and talking. One way to stop the spread is by coughing or sneezing into a tissue and washing your hands immediately after. You can also wear a mask. There are a variety of masks available such as the 3-ply mask, a cloth mask, the N95 respirator, and the KN95 respirator. Research suggests the 3-ply mask prevents the outward movement of breath by 90 percent and the N95 and KN95 respirators filter up to 95 percent of particles. You learn more about the different kinds of masks and their effectiveness by visiting our other blog post here.
Disinfect Commonly Touched Surfaces
Flu germs can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours. This makes it crucial to frequently disinfect commonly touched and used surfaces in your household or workplace. It is recommended you wash surfaces with household cleaners to remove germs, rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant. If these products aren’t readily available, you can utilize disinfecting wipes to kill germs!
It is important to take preventative measures to avoid contracting the flu. By following the steps listed above, you greatly reduce your risk of becoming sick this cold and flu season. Beta Sciences is an American distributor of PPE, based out of Florida. They offer a full line of PPE products that are FDA and CE certified. This ensures that buyers are receiving a product that has gone through the proper regulatory avenues and will be effective. We invite you to visit Beta Sciences to learn more at www.BetaSciences.com.