With the onset of the monsoon season, the rains not only bring a sigh of relief from the scorching heat, but it also brings along common cold, flu and other infectious conditions too. This is simply because the concoction of heat, cold and moist environment which is extremely favorable to various microbes to grow rapidly such as Influenza (Flu).
Flu (Influenza) is a highly contagious viral attack which disrupts your respiratory system affecting throat, lungs and nose. The prominent symptoms include, runny nose, sneezing-coughing, mild to high fever with extreme body ache. It has been observed in India, June, July, August and September are the most susceptible months to contract flu, which spreads from one family member to the other often making the entire family sick.
However, one can easily prevent flu by practicing certain measures and hygiene “All-round the year”. Below are a few easy prevention tips you can comply with. Read on
Easy prevention & management tips
1. Sanitize or wash your hands - Washing & sanitizing your hands every 4-5 hours, specifically before meals can keep FLU and other infections at a far bay. We most often touch doorknobs, laptops, lifts buttons and many other gadgets, our favorite being the cell phone, which can be carriers of different microbes and influenza virus strains. These microbes get an inlet in the body via direct contact with lips, eyes, nose and skin. Hence, by cleansing ourselves and encouraging children and elderly routinely we can minimize the risks of contracting Influenza viruses to a large extent.
2. Keep a temperature check on Air conditioners- Do you know that AC vents and AC temp also play a major role in FLU contraction? Yes, research suggests that the influenza virus can incubate upto 1-2 years in infected vents of central air conditioners. Not only this, many people during the monsoon season set the temperature of the air conditioners to very low temperature settings, same as that of peak summers. This results in high susceptibility of catching cold, fever, flu and other conditions. Depending upon the humidity temperature should not be lower than 22 degree to prevent infectious conditions.
3. Keep away from flu prone zones - This is something completely unavoidable, as we need to travel, work and carry on our day to day lives. However, having said that if you have known conditions such as diabetes, kidney disorders, cancer, or you are in your advanced pregnancy trimesters, one must avoid such flu prone areas knowing the compromised immune condition of your body. Swimming pools, crowded market places, buses, restaurants, stations etc. are highly flu prone zones and proper prevention, precaution and avoidance may help you prevent from contracting flu and other infectious conditions.
4. Get yourself vaccinated - Some people may have the tendency to contract Flu frequently because of their vocations and institutions. Airport staff, hotel staff, hospital staff and school going children are subjected to recurring Flu, in this case vaccinations are the only way to prevent influenza virus from attacking the person time and again. Because they not only suffer from flu symptoms themselves, but they are regular carriers of flu virus for others too.
Airport and hotel staff and nurses are unfortunately carriers of flu viruses from different parts of the world such as swine flu. People with similar professions must not hesitate to get themselves routinely vaccinated to prevent from recurring viral attacks.
5. Eat healthy, avoid Frozen foods- There is nothing more important than health, more than this phrase people specially with compromised immune system must avoid frozen food items during these months and have more of fresh green vegetables and fruits to boost their immune systems. Also, seafood, shell fish, red meats, alcohol and tobacco are to be consumed in minimal amounts as these constituents may work as precursors of certain viruses and bacteria.
6. Stay hydrated- Water requirements of the body in these months are higher than normal in summers as compared to all round the year. Hence, supplying your body with adequate water will not only flush out toxins but also keep your body’s immune system strong to fight with all kinds of infections.
7. Don’t overdo medicines- Flu is a viral attack, having antibiotics will not help in curing flu, this is the most common mistake people make while suffering from flu. Having heavy doses of painkillers may lead to damage of the stomach lining unnecessarily. Instead mild pain killers and balms to relieve headache and body aches are encouraged along with steam vapors to deal with runny nose and other flu symptoms. Any other medications such as antihistamines (anti-allergy) medicines are to be taken only after consultation with a doctor.
Last but not the least, some strains of Influenza viruses are not so harmful and our immune system fights, copes up and recovers within 5-7 days on its own. However, certain strains such as H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1, H7N3 (Bird flu) when contracted are not to be taken lightly, they often disrupt the respiratory system leading to critical hospitalization. Specially, in the case of children it can be life-threatening too hence, mothers don’t ignore push children and family members for prevention this season and enjoy monsoon to the fullest.