Flu season is upon us, and it's important to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu and its complications, such as pneumonia. While these tips apply to everyone, they are especially crucial for individuals with diabetes. In this blog post, we will share some expert advice on how to prevent the flu and pneumonia.
Get a yearly flu vaccine shot
One of the most effective ways to prevent the flu is by getting a yearly flu vaccine shot. This vaccine helps your body develop immunity to the flu virus, reducing your chances of getting sick. If you're over the age of 65, it's recommended to opt for the high-dose version of the vaccine, as it provides better protection.
Ask about the pneumococcal vaccine
In addition to the flu vaccine, it's important to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine protects against the bacteria that cause pneumonia, a serious complication of the flu. By getting vaccinated, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing pneumonia.
Avoid physical contact with sick individuals
The flu virus spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. To minimize your risk of exposure, it's essential to avoid physical contact with individuals who are coughing or sneezing. If you're in close proximity to someone who is sick, consider wearing a face mask for added protection.
Practice good hand hygiene
Washing your hands frequently is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of the flu virus. Use soap and water and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Remember to clean your hands before eating, after using the restroom, and after touching surfaces in public places.
Keep surfaces clean
The flu virus can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. To reduce the risk of transmission, it's important to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops. Use soap and water or a disinfectant cleaner to ensure proper sanitation.
Wear a face mask to indoor events
During flu season, it's wise to take extra precautions when attending indoor events with a large number of people. Wearing a face mask can provide an additional barrier against respiratory droplets that may contain the flu virus. Consider wearing a mask, especially if you're in close proximity to others or if flu activity is high in your community.
Stay informed and consider staying home
It's important to stay informed about the influenza spread in your community. Monitor local news and health department updates to stay up to date on flu activity. If there is a significant increase in flu cases in your area, consider staying home and avoiding crowded places to reduce your risk of exposure.
By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting the flu and developing complications like pneumonia. Remember, prevention is key, and taking proactive measures to protect yourself and those around you is essential, especially if you have diabetes. Stay healthy and stay safe!