Friday, January 11, 2013
First Flu Death Reported in Lee County
Though Southwest Florida is relatively calm, there is one specific reason why experts worry the virus will pick up here very soon. Areas like Boston and Minneapolis are reporting hundreds of flu cases and Florida is becoming a hot bed for the virus as well.
According to Discovery Health, the following steps should be taken to avoid getting the flu...
Get a flu shot, particularly if you are 50 or over or have a chronic illness. In addition, consider a flu shot if you are in regular contact with many people, especially if you live in a dormitory or work in an open-plan office, where hundreds of people are coughing and sneezing in a common area.
Discuss with your pediatrician whether to immunize your youngsters in daycare. One recent study found that families whose children in daycare were immunized had 42% fewer infections with fever than those whose children weren't immunized.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. A quick rinse won't do the trick. To kill germs, communicative disease experts recommend washing with soap for 15 to 30 seconds-about as long as it takes to hum a rollicking verse of "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
Keep your hands away from your face to reduce the chance of delivering viruses directly to your eyes or nose. One study found that people typically touched their face fifteen times in an hour.
Make certain you're getting your RDA for vitamin E and other antioxidants including A, C and B-complex vitamins and minerals. These have properties that enhance immune response. Studies on older mice have shown that those with reduced levels of vitamin E were more susceptible to flu infection.
Don't smoke. Smoke paralyzes the cilia, the hairlike cells lining the nose and airways that sweep incoming viruses away before they can infect.
Use tissues, not cloth handkerchiefs, to reduce spread of infection.
Reduce stress. Research has shown that immune responses are compromised by stress.
Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Chronic sleep deprivation can reduce your immune response.
Reduce alcohol consumption. Chronic heavy drinkers suffer from more colds and flu-and their complications-than others do, and even regular moderate use of alcohol can compromise immune response.