Cold and Flu Season: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones

According to the CDC, “while influenza viruses spread year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February.” Cold and flu season has challenges in its own right, but now that it is in conjunction with the coronavirus, the seriousness of this time of year is heightened.

The good news is that there are ways that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick. As a long-term care provider with communities in Colorado, Missouri, and Nevada, Vivage is sharing how to do just that.

Predicting This Year’s Cold and Flu Season

During the 2020 flu season, a historically low number of only 2,038 flu cases were reported. Experts believe that this was due to the strict mandates set for COVID-19. Individuals were quarantined in their homes and/or required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. However, since many of these restrictions and mandates have been lifted or changed, cold and flu season is expected to be more prominent this year.

Confusion with Symptoms

Another issue that concerns experts is the similarities between the symptoms of the coronavirus and the flu. Because COVID-19 is still present, many individuals who get sick may have difficulty knowing which virus they have. 

It is important to note that while the symptoms of COVID-19 are noticed more gradually, symptoms associated with the flu are often abrupt. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, it is vital to seek the advice of a healthcare provider.

Protecting Yourself and Others

Both COVID-19 and the flu are serious viruses, and you should take every precaution you can to keep yourself and your family members safe and healthy. Below are tips that can help protect you from COVID-19 and the flu since they spread in similar ways.

Get Your Flu Vaccine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

“While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show that the flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to those used to make flu vaccines.”

Wear a Mask

These viruses are spread through droplets that come out of a sick person’s nose or mouth, so wearing a mask can help stop this spread. Even if you are vaccinated against the coronavirus and the flu, wearing a mask in public is still recommended.

Keep Your Distance

If you are sick, you should stay home until you feel better to avoid spreading the virus to others. Giving yourself rest and time to recover is the best thing you can do to protect your loved ones from getting sick.

Wash Your Hands Often

You do not know if the person who turned the doorknob and walked through before you was sick or not. As mentioned previously, both the flu and COVID-19 are passed through droplets that come out of the nose or mouth. 

If a person coughed or sneezed into their hand and then touched the doorknob, they could be unknowingly spreading the virus. To avoid getting sick yourself and spreading it to others, make sure to wash your hands often and thoroughly. 

Disinfect Surfaces

This should be done both at home and at work, especially in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Make sure to wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant regularly to kill germs.

Eat a Healthy Diet

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family members from getting sick is to keep your immune system strong. Eating healthy foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals can go a long way in boosting your immune system and keeping you from getting sick.

Protecting yourself and your loved ones from the flu and COVID-19 is more important than ever. To learn more about the precautions against cold and flu season we are taking throughout our senior living and long-term care communities in Colorado, Missouri, and Nevada, we invite you to contact a member of the Vivage team.

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