FLU SYMPTOMS can leave you feeling extremely rundown and unwell, which is especially unpleasant in the aftermath of the festive season. Here are four things you must do to start the new year feeling your best and avoid catching the flu.
After filling up on unhealthy foods and booze over the Christmas and new year period, accompanied by late nights and parties, many people’s immune systems will be run down as we begin the new year. This can put you at an increased risk of catching the flu, especially as people return to work. “Infections and flu are much more common in winter and can spread quickly in busy areas,” said Pat Cattini, president of the Infection Prevention Society. “With people across the UK returning to work after the festive period, there are some very simple ways to help stay healthy and avoid infections as we start 2019.”
Cattini offers four simple tips to help you fight the flu.
Clean your hands properly and regularly
Wash your hands after leaving the bathroom, before and after preparing meals and eating, and after coughing or sneezing.
Washing your hands properly should take about as long as singing Happy Birthday twice, says Cattini, and make sure you dry them properly too.
Alcohol and rubs are very effective at killing most germs, but after using the toilet always use soap and water.
Drink plenty of fluid
Adults need a minimum of eight large cup of fluid, equivalent to 1.5 litres, per day to help prevent infections.
Older people and young children are particularly vulnerable to dehydration and may need help to ensure they get enough to drink.
Get the flu jab
The flu vaccine works with the immune system to help fight the virus.
“Flu feels far worse than any common cold – flu generally causes a chesty cough, temperature, breathlessness, achy joints, sore throat, runny nose and severe tiredness,” said Cattini.
“Everyone should take advantage of the flu jab, both for themselves and especially for their children, who are often ‘super-spreaders’ of flu.”
Be prepared for norovirus
Norovirus, otherwise known as the winter vomiting bug, is common at this time of year and spreads easily. As well as vomiting, it can cause diarrhoea.
If you do get norovirus, Cattini advises staying at home, away from other people, until you are symptom free for 48 hours.
Disinfect surfaces and toilets in areas where there have been symptoms, and try to keep hydrated.