All Points Medical Waste Blog

Flu season is almost here…are you ready?

What you need to know to protect yourself & your family.

Fall is in the air and soon, we’ll be welcoming the holiday season. But it’s also the time of year when the flu rears its ugly head—threatening to infect you and those you love. When it comes to influenza, the word itself causes concern, especially for parents of young children, the elderly and those with certain health conditions. Read on to learn the best ways to protect yourself.

Flu shot: Is it for you?

Each year, millions of Americans are struck with the flu in varying severities. Over 200,000 of them end up hospitalized and for a percentage of them, the virus is fatal. So ideally, everyone, even those in good health, need to do all they can to protect themselves from the flu. According to experts, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine. In recent years, the vaccine has become more and more accessible, even offered for free in clinics around the country for those without insurance or means to pay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months have an annual flu shot—and specifically recommend that those with special health conditions, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, pregnant women and those over 65, be vigilant about protecting themselves because of the potential of becoming seriously ill.

How it spreads.

We’ve all seen the news stories about the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola, the Swine Flu and others. And while it can be alarming, the best course of action when it comes to the flu is to be aware of the symptoms and ensure that you’re taking the proper steps to prevent the spread of germs. The flu virus spreads easily through the air, which means you can be infected just by being in the same room with someone who’s sick. The virus can also live on surfaces for varying periods of time, depending on the strain of influenza, so touching things like countertops, sink faucets, computer keyboards, etc. can put you at risk. For those who opt not to get the vaccine, it’s key that you wash your hands with soap and water often, keep your hands away from your mouth and eyes and avoid contact with those who are sick—even if you’re not sure they have the flu.

Is it the flu or just a cold?

Because the symptoms can be similar, it’s often hard to distinguish the flu from a common cold. The biggest difference between the two is the severity and length of the illness. While you may have nasal congestion, body aches, a cough, etc. with a cold, your symptoms will typically last only a few days or up to a week. Flu symptoms, on the other hand, are usually accompanied by a fever and can last up to a few weeks, longer in those with respiratory conditions. Most common flu symptoms are:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches and soreness
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Exhaustion
  • Vomiting (depending on the flu strain)

Alleviating the symptoms.

Because the flu is viral, antibiotics are effective in alleviating the symptoms.
There are anti-viral medications that doctors may prescribe to assist with lessening the affects of the disease, and these are usually for patients who are at risk for serious complications. If you or a family member become sick, there are several ways to combat your symptoms and get through the flu including:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Bed rest
  • Use over the counter medications for congestion, fever and cough
  • Stay home until you’ve been fever free (without medications) for at least 24 hours
  • See your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or persist

Being proactive is the ideal way to protect yourself and your family against the flu. It’s also important to remember that if you do become sick, you can prevent spreading it to others by continuously throwing away used tissues, washing and sanitizing surfaces and avoiding contact as much as possible.

All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated company that provides medical waste disposal as well as shredding services to commercial and residential clients. Give us a call today at 772.600.4885 to find out how we can serve you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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