How Can I Avoid Getting Swine Flu?

Influenza is a virus that can have many strains. Because it is a virus, there is no cure. All we can do is treat the symptoms and hope to reduce their duration. Even under those conditions, the swine flu is a horrible illness to have.

So, to that end, here are some ways that you can reduce your chances of getting it.

1. Wash your hands. Hand washing is the single biggest deterrent to disease. In hospitals, washing hands between patients stops the spread of infection or disease from one person to the next. It also protects you as a health care provider from contracting anything from your patients. At home, wash your hands after you sneeze and frequently when you have a cold. Always carry hand sanitizer with you to use when water is not accessible.

2. Avoid sick people. Swine flu is airborne. Staying around people who have the flu or a cold is the best way to get it yourself. If someone in your family is sick, wear a mask or confine them to one room of the house. Wash linens and disinfect surfaces after the flu has passed.

3. Get a good night of sleep. Being well rested is one way to boost your immunity. You are also better able to handle stressors that can lead to illnesses. Most people need at least six to eight hours of sleep per night to function well during the day.

4. Stay home from work if you are sick. It is noble that you want to trudge on through your illness, but is it fair to your co-workers? If you have a fever, you are contagious to them. When you feel the flu coming on, visit the doctor for possible treatment and then go home to rest. Once it hits, you won’t feel much like working.

5. Respect others. If you have a cold or a cough, don’t spread it. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. Cough into the bend of your elbow so that you don’t send your germs into the air to infect the respiratory tract of others. Wash hands after sneezing.

6. Take all medications as directed. There is not much that can be done but your doctor may give you something to ease the symptoms.

7. Get vaccinated. A vaccination won’t guarantee that you won’t catch a strain of the swine flu but it does decrease your risk.

The swine flu is a fact of life. Learn how to avoid becoming its victim.