As temperatures keep dropping, more and more people are getting sick with the flu. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu this season. Aside from the usual washing of hand and covering of mouth when we sneeze or cough, here are some tips on how to prevent the flu at home.
Prevent the flu – Tips
1. People tend to spend more time indoors during the winter, which contributes to the easy spread of the flu, low humidity may be aiding the flu virus’ survival. Try to invest in a hygrometers, provide a digital readout of the humidity in your home, these are compact and inexpensive.
2. Homes can be kept at a 40-60% relative humidity level through the use of a humidifier. By doing this the flu virus survival in the air can be decreased by up to 30%. This also helps relieve cough and congestion.
3. When disinfecting, think beyond the countertops, focus on objects that are used most throughout the house, such as the family tablet, TV remote, or doorknobs. Use a registered disinfectant that states the EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus.
4. The flu virus can live on surfaces for several hours, even longer on more porous surfaces like towels, washcloths, blankets and linens. It’s important that these are not shared without being cleaned thoroughly. Wash bedding, towels and clothes with hot water and detergent and dry on a hot setting. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling them.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. If you are exposed to a person with the flu, antiviral medication can prevent you from getting sick. The sooner you are treated with an antiviral, the more likely it will prevent the flu. Antiviral medication are 70% to 90% effective at preventing the flu. Talk to your health care provider if you think you need antiviral medications.