Flu season 2019 is upon us. Each year, October officially marks the beginning of flu season, but 2019 has already seen hundreds of cases and many more are projected to be diagnosed this flu season. Your local primary care physician may attempt to have you believe that the flu vaccine is the only way you can effectively prevent the flu, but that simply isn’t true. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of the natural ways to avoid the flu this, and every flu season.
Before jumping right into how you can avoid the flu, let’s discuss a few flu facts.
- The flu vaccine only prevents the flu in 40 to 60% of cases.
- The flu vaccine is grown in eggs, which changes how effective it is and limits who can get it.
- Only 8% of the US population suffered the flu last year.
- Since the flu is a virus, the treatment is supportive and managing symptoms.
- Western medicine has not been effective at preventing, treating, or curing the flu.
Avoid crowded places and sick people.
It should come as no surprise that the more crowded a space is, the more likely everyone in the shared space is to being exposed to a contagious disease. Avoid crowded and closed spaces and if someone you know is showing symptoms of an illness, avoid contact with them. If coworkers refuse to stay home when they are sick, you can speak to your leadership about taking days off to avoid being exposed.
Optimize your overall health.
The flu is more likely to affect those who have some sort of immune compromise or are more susceptible to health concerns to begin with. These people include the very old, the very young, those with a chronic disease, who are obese, or who are pregnant. If none of these apply to you, reducing your stress, eating and sleeping well, and maintaining optimal health will reduce the chances of an opportunistic infection such as the flu to affect you.
Wash your hands.
Nothing is more effective at protecting you from a variety of infectious diseases than washing your hands. Avoid contact with shared objects and be aware of what you touch. Some of the most contaminated surfaces are money, your phone, and door handles. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. Carry baby wipes or hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to running water continuously.
Keep your areas clean.
Cleanliness is another way to avoid infection and illness of a wide variety. There is no need to use harsh chemicals, but keeping your home, workspace, and car clean can help prevent microbes from calling your space home and invading your immune system. In public places, you can quickly clean areas that you use, such as shopping carts and chairs. If you cannot clean a space, avoid direct contact with surfaces as much as possible.
Avoid eating out.
There are some things in life you can control, like how clean your hands and kitchen are and how you prepare the food you eat. When you go out to eat, not only do you have to worry about what may be in the air or on your table, but you surrender control of the hygienic practices used to prepare your food. During flu season, it is best to avoid eating out altogether.
Wear a mask and gloves.
This is becoming more common in public areas and socially acceptable. Wearing a surgical mask to avoid breathing contaminants and wearing gloves while handling shared items is a great way to avoid coming into contact with the flu or any other virus or bacteria.
Natural Ways to Treat the Flu
The flu is a virus, which means it will need to run its course. If you are unfortunate to contract the flu this season, here are a few helpful, natural, ways to treat the flu. First and foremost, avoid people while you have symptoms to avoid spreading it. Stay home from work or school and limit contact with those you share a home with. Try these treatment options:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Gargle water or saltwater for sore throat.
- Take zinc!
- Stay hydrated.
- Use a humidifier, warm showers, or neti pot to clear nasal passages
For practical prevention tips, homeopathic vaccines, or natural flu treatment options, schedule your evaluation at Family Chiropractic Center of Santa Fe.