Every end is a new beginning. As summer comes to a close and warm weather ends, the beautiful season of fall begins. The leaves in the trees change color and fall, apple orchards all across the Midwest overflow with customers, the temperature drops, and the seasonal flu outbreak begins. In a study done by CDC, it was shown that from October through the beginning of May the highest flu activity is seen, with peaks in the winter months. There are a few early steps and natural remedies you can use to help reduce the amount of flu activity per month and counteract the flu.
What is the flu and what are the symptoms?
According to CDC the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death especially in high risk groups. Symptoms can be:
- Fever* or feeling cold and chilly
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffed up nose
- Muscles or body aches
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Some people have vomiting or diarrhea, most common in children though
- Also common: chest discomfort, head congestion, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, or swollen lymph nodes
*Not everyone with flu will have a fever
These influenza viruses spread through particles that come from when people cough, sneeze or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. And the flu can be spread before you even know you are sick, and also while you are sick.
How To Prevent and Fight the Flu
The single most suggested way to prevent the flu is by getting seasonal flu vaccines. Traditional flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent” vaccines) are available. In addition, flu vaccines that are made to protect against four different flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines) also are available. Contact your doctor to schedule your appointment for a flu shot.
Another way is to avoid contact with sick people, and also sick people to avoid contact to stop possible spread. When you sneeze or cough please don’t forget to cover your mouth, or use a tissue and dispose of the tissue correctly. Also not only washing your hands thoroughly with soap before touching anything, but also washing counters and infected surfaces also helps reduce the spread of germs. It truly is the little things that make a big difference.
The best thing to do though ward off the flu or the flu is to drink a lot of fluids, and rest your body so your body can fight the infection naturally. To fight the flu naturally, make sure you:
- Blow your nose often, and don’t sniffle mucus back into your head. And after blowing your nose, wash your hands.
- Stay rested, very rested. This way your body can use the energy to fight the cold.
- Gargle saline water to relieve the throat.
- Drink hot liquids to prevent dehydration.
- Take steamy showers to calm you down and the moisten your nasal passages. Often people become dizzy and exhausted due to the flu, and steamy showers can help you feel a little better.
The flu can be very detrimental to your health, and to the people around you. So the best thing to do is try to prevent it by doing the small things: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue away, sleep, drink water, etc. Not even the best drugs in the world can fight the flu or other illnesses as well as your body naturally can.
For more information about the flu and how to prevent or fight it go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/