2019 Flu Season May Be a Bad One: How to Protect Yourself.
The 2019 flu season is here and it may be a bad one. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy from Dr. Zeba Yamin, family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield.
- Get vaccinated. The best way to protect your family against the flu is to get everyone vaccinated. Flu season peaks between December and February. It’s important to get your vaccine early, before the flu starts spreading in your community, to give your body two full weeks to develop the antibodies needed to protect you. While the flu vaccine isn’t guaranteed to prevent you from getting the flu, it can lessen your symptoms and the duration if you end up catching it after the shot.
- Be smart with sharing. Sharing cups, utensils, and lip balm are obvious things to avoid. However, during cold and flu season, it’s also a good idea to provide everyone in your family with their own towels, both for bathing and for drying hands. At work, sanitize common areas and avoid sharing office supplies when possible.
- Wash your hands. Washing your hands frequently is vital to stopping the spread of germs. Always use soap and warm water and scrub your hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds. For children, you can recommend they sing the ABCs in their head while washing, to make sure they’re spending enough time..
- Disinfect early. While you definitely want to sanitize your home once someone in the family is sick, the best time to disinfect is actually before an illness appears. Regularly wiping down door knobs, light switches, remotes, cell phones, and other commonly touched surfaces helps to kill germs before they can infect someone.
- Avoid touching your face. When illness is rampant, it is more important than ever to avoid touching your mouth and your eyes – which are the easiest paths for germs to enter our systems. If you are coughing or sneezing, use tissues and dispose of them immediately. Remember to teach your children to do the same.
- Take it easy at home. If you do get sick, please stay home and isolated as much as possible. This ensures you recover quickly, and you don’t spread the flu to others. When sick people go to school or work (or when they return before they are fully better), it only serves to spread the illness to others.
Remember to see your doctor if you experience vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you have a high fever, if you have trouble breathing, you experience prolonged pain, or you feel your symptoms are serious.
Dr. Zeba Yamin is a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield. Dr. Yamin is currently accepting new patients and is located at 9500 Stockdale Hwy, Suite 201 in Bakersfield. To learn more or make an appointment, please call (661) 865-5494 or visit DHMF.org/Bakersfield.