Flu season in the United States falls between October and March — during the fall and winter months. Cases of the flu typically begin to increase in October and November, and peak between December and March. That’s why it’s so important to be prepping for flu season NOW, before it begins, so that you can fight off the flu in full force over the next few months. Here’s what you can be doing now to prepare for flu season:
Before the start of flu season, make things easy on yourself by cleaning and disinfecting your home, office and any other places you typically find yourself throughout the day. Be sure to disinfect countertops and other surfaces, as well as things like doorknobs, cabinet handles and other things that people frequently touch. One of the most common ways cold and flu germs spread from person to person is when people touch their eyes or mouth after touching a surface containing germs. If you start your cleaning habit before flu season starts, it will be easier to continue the habit when it really matters. Try making a cleaning schedule, specially designed for preventing the spread of germs. For example, you may want to disinfect things like frequently used keyboards and door handles on a daily basis during flu season, while your desk at work may only require weekly or bi-weekly disinfecting. With a plan in place, you are more likely to stick to your disinfecting regimen.
It’s time to hit the store! Stock up on things you’ll need throughout flu season now, so you are prepared to tackle whatever germs come your way from the start. Put together boxes of cleaning supplies to have handy in your home, office, car and any other place where you spend lots of time. Make sure you have plenty of easy-to-use disinfecting wipes and sprays, hand sanitizer, and, just in case, a few boxes of tissues. It may seem silly to buy these things ahead of time, but you’ll be glad you did when everyone around you is starting to get the sniffles. It may also be helpful to keep a list of phone numbers of a nearby urgent care center, ER, doctor and pharmacy. If the flu does strike, you’ll be glad you had them on hand.
Maintain healthy habits
Healthy bodies are better at fighting off illness. Make sure you aren’t letting your health go as the weather turns cooler. Keep up a regular exercise routine, maintain healthy eating habits, and learn some stress reducing habits to keep your body in tip-top shape to fight off the flu. It may also help during flu season to make sure you are getting enough of the vitamins and nutrients that are best at fighting off illness — Vitamin C, antioxidants and Vitamin D, just to name a few. Try incorporating foods or supplements that contain these essential vitamins and nutrients into your diet. By taking care of your health, you’re arming yourself to fight the flu from the inside out.
And most importantly, GET YOUR FLU SHOT! Getting your annual flu shot is the No. 1 way to prevent getting the flu. October is the best time to get the shot, giving you the full effect of the vaccine during the height of flu season. Encourage your family, friends and coworkers to get the shot, as well — the more people that get the shot, the less likely it is that the flu will spread and endanger those who are unable to be vaccinated. Find an AFC Urgent Care location near you to get the flu shot today!