Last week, Johnny shared his experience of getting sick on the road, and gave you some tips on ways to stay healthy.
As winter wears on, flu season will be in full swing, and now On Call International, a company specializing in medical and travel assistance, is offering everyone some tips on combating the flu from their Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Wheeler.
Flu season is officially back and stronger than ever. According to Fox News, flu season hasn’t started this early in almost ten years. In fact, 2003 was one of the most lethal seasons in the past 35 years, with more than 48,000 deaths – and now, this season’s flu symptoms are being compared to the dominant type of symptoms from almost a decade ago.
Although an estimated 112 million Americans have been vaccinated so far, many who have not taken the proper precautions could experience fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Here are Dr. Wheeler’s five tips on staying healthy and getting better.
1. Take Action: Getting vaccinated is the single most important action to prevent the flu. You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or clinic. You may also be able to get a flu shot from your local health department, pharmacy, or employer. Check out the CDC’s Vaccination Information page for more information.
2. Cover Up: Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. It’s best to sneeze or cough into a tissue or handkerchief, but if those aren’t available, use the crook of your elbow.
3. Keep Your Distance: If you are sick, be sure to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. It is important to protect others from catching your symptoms. For those who are flu-free, be sure to avoid people who are visibly sick. If someone around you is sneezing or coughing, turn your head away, or even protect yourself by covering your mouth and nose. This is especially critical in tight places such as airplanes, elevators, and ground public transportation.
4. Stay Sanitized: Wash your hands with warm water and soap, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as often as possible. When washing, be sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds. It is also important to keep your hands off your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, to avoid getting germs in these sensitive areas where they can easily spread. It is also a good idea to bring sanitizing wipes with you when traveling. Use a wipe to pat down the airplane’s seatback tray, as well as your hotel room remote control, light switches, and door knobs as these places are often filled with germs.
5. Be Prepared: Before embarking on your travels, make sure to research the current flu activity in your destination. Staying up-to-date on your flu vaccine will keep your health in proper conditions because flu seasons can vary by location. If you do need to receive a flu vaccination, make sure to get it at least two weeks before you travel. Lastly, prepare a travel-size health kit that includes tissues, pain or fever medicine, and hand sanitizer to prevent flu-like symptoms.