In 1981 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a blanket recommendation that all healthcare workers receive an annual flu vaccine. Since that time the concentration toward prevention of widespread flu outbreaks has intensified the recommendation to all persons aged 6 months and up, particularly those with compromised immune systems, chronic disease processes that affect the respiratory system and the elderly. This year has seen a marked increase not only in persons presenting in emergency rooms with active influenza, but in some cases persons who have received the seasonal flu vaccine but have still contracted this more intense version of flu.
As I watched the Inauguration of President Obama today I had to think of the masses of persons in the crowd who may inadvertently be sharing this communicable disease. Here are some tips to prevent the continuing spread of the flu.
- It may seem simple, but if you feel sick keep yourself from crowds or from being in the work environment, particularly if you work in a closed environment with others.
- Get your annual flu vaccine; it is not too late to receive this helpful vaccine.
- Boost your immune system with healthy antioxidant fruits and vegetables. Some concentrated 100 percent juices such as Bolthouse Farms, Green Goodness, combines many of the healthy green fruits and juices that also act to boost our body’s immunity defenses against disease.
- Wash your hands! Particularly after touching shared objects like door handles, door knobs, lockers, gym equipment and etc.
- Use good manners. When you feel a cough or sneeze coming on remember to bend that elbow, swing it around and cough into your sleeve not into the air. Granted, sometimes we can’t feel a cough or sneeze coming on but it is well worth the effort to cover a cough or sneeze when we can head it off.
While all these are common sense reminders, they are often the very things that aren’t routinely done that could drastically cut down on the spread of disease. With the makers of Tamiflu, the drug typically used to treat active flu cases, running low and in some areas running out of the drug it is important to follow through on these reminders to keep yourself and others safe from illness. Until next time – good health to you.