As October slowly comes to a close, flu season looms on the horizon. As the weather gets colder and everyone around you gets sicker, self-care and awareness of personal health become increasingly important.
A lot of people don’t take the flu as seriously as they should, and see it as a mildly inconvenient seasonable inevitability. However, the stats show how serious of an issue influenza actually is. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that over 7,000 people were hospitalized because of influenza in the 2014-2015 season, and approximately 600 people died because of influenza that season.
Considering the dangers of influenza and the harm it causes Canadians, it becomes important to take as many precautions as possible this flu season to minimize the spread of the virus.
The flu shot is, of course, one of the easiest steps to take in avoiding the flu. Just getting the shot increases your chances of avoiding the flu for the rest of the season, and it only takes a short amount of time. Once the shot becomes available (which will be very soon), it will be offered at many clinics throughout the city, and is free of charge, so it is an accessible precautionary measure.
Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu can also be helpful for people if they think they have been or will be exposed to the virus, but are not yet sick. The drugs are extremely effective at preventing the flu if taken early, and can be prescribed by health care providers.
Outside of medical intervention, general health practices can go a long way in minimizing the spread of influenza. Regular hand-washing, using the sanitizer stations located around Brock (or carrying your own sanitizer), and staying home if you are feeling sick all help stop the spread of germs. Furthermore, the more sleep you get, and the healthier your diet, the stronger and more capable your body will be in fighting infection.