Flu season is officially upon us, which means there are going to be a lot of visits to the emergency room and walk-in urgent care centers. But before you say there's nothing you can do to prevent the flu this season, you need to know what steps can help you prepare for when the disease actually does strike.
If you're unsure how to combat the flu this season, here are a few best practices to help you act like a pro who treats injury and illness.
Get a Flu Shot
You might think it's a little bit late in the season, but it's never too late to get a flu shot. But remember: it takes a few weeks for the flu vaccine to be fully active in your body, so you should still try to avoid people with flu-like symptoms to the best of your abilities during that time.
Stock up on Supplies
If you're afraid of someone in your home getting the flu, you should stock up on tissues, hand soap, paper towels, and liquids rich in electrolytes. These supplies can save you a trip to the pharmacy, or even better, a trip to emergency services.
Wash Your Hands
This is a lesson that's ingrained from the start of childhood, and it's done for a reason. Washing your hands can help keep germs and harmful bacteria at bay, especially during flu season. It's also important to keep your hands away from your face when possible. While the flu virus won't be affected by antibacterial soaps, washing your hands still flushes away any flu bugs sticking to your hands.
Stay Home if You're Sick
The worst thing you can do if you have the flu is leave the house and attempt to be around other people. Beyond making your fever and other symptoms worse, you risk getting others around you seriously sick too. It's okay to take a sick day, especially when the health of others around you is at risk.
Go to Urgent Care
The flu doesn't always strike at a convenient time. If you think you're coming down with the flu and can't make it to your doctor during operating hours, don't hesitate to visit an urgent care center. Approximately 60% of all walk-in urgent care facilities have a wait time of 15 minutes or less to see a physician, so there's no excuse not to go.
The most important takeaway here is to be prepared. Don't let the flu catch you off guard this season!
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