- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Flu Season: Stop the Spread
Now That You Have the FLU...Keep the germs to yourself.
If you've ever had the dreaded Flu Virus, you need no reminders, as to how totally wretched this illness is. Just the memory brings on a moan and the shivers....with a bit of paranoia, don't touch me, stay away, cover your mouth, I'm leaving.
During the height of the Flu season, the common courtesy greeting, "How are you,? takes on a much more desperate tone.
If, by some stroke of incredible luck or super-human immunity, you have never experienced a bout with this virus, congratulations. Read this anyway for future reference and the benefit of your loved ones.
Recognize the symptoms of onset
Aside from being painfully aware of the facts listed to the right, there are some vital medical terms and phrases you might use for your own confirmation as well as to alert others. Blah, Yuk, Oh, Barf and AhhhhAhCHOO, fall under this category. Also, this public service announcement can be helpful, "Help......I feel like crap.....I think I'm dying."
Right! The Flu Shot is not a 100% guaranteed protection...but it helps.
Deciding whether or not to have a flu shot is up to you and possibly your personal physician. It's a controversial topic between those who swear by it and those who simply refuse to believe the shot protects us at all. For a long time, I said, "No," to this alleged preventative measure. Then, one flu season, the influenza bug took a bite out of me the size of Texas. This was when I made a promise to get the shot every year without question. In fact, one lonely afternoon in the midst of my near-fatal bout, as I put the finishing touches to my Last Will and Testament for my children.....I added this promise at the bottom of the page before signing..."If by chance I survive this flu attack........"
This is your opportunity to be a Hero as you diligently protect all other humans who may enter your contaminated space. You may be well aware of some of the tricks to disinfect and sanitize your surroundings and any thing or person you might touch. Nonetheless, the following tips can add to the list of helpful hints, as well as act as healthy reminders.
Confine, Control and Contain
It may seem hardly necessary to suggest that an individual stay home when infected by the flu virus, or any contagious illness. However, we all know that man of steel and the unstoppable woman, who firmly believe that the world outside will crumble without their presence and contributions. It's just that there's the tiny consideration for the health and well-being of all those people highly susceptible to the nasty far-reaching germs. Resign yourself to the comforts and confines of your home.
Face the hard-core-proven-throughout-the-centuries fact. From the moment of the flu bug entry into our system to the incredible relief of exit, in the vast majority of cases, it is four to five days. You can stay home and take care of yourself, avoid spreading your illness to others and heal thyself for these few days, with very few additional issues.
This confinement at least, limits those who require protection to the people with whom you share this home.
A few Must-Have Supplies. Fierce fighters against Germs
Most of the items needed to control the spread of germs and maintain a safer environment, are things that most of us keep and use in our households on a regular basis. Ordinary laundry bleach is literally a killer. It can be (carefully) used full strength, on the majority of washable surfaces, but you can choose to dilute with a little hot water.
While it may be a bit of a bother, especially given how rotten you are feeling, it's quite important to continually wipe down hard surfaces with bleach. Rubbing alcohol is just as good for this, if you prefer. This relates to tabletops, counters, door knobs, keyboards, telephones and any thing you touch that can be wiped down with a disinfectant.
Any and all dishes, utensils, cups and glasses you use, place immediately into your dishwasher or a pan of hot sudsy water, to avoid the possibility of being used by others. More than one bathroom? Try to limit your visits to one in particular for the time being and suggest to all others to use the alternate facilities. Only one bathroom, requires repeated disinfecting and sanitizing.
Needless to say is that this is no time to demonstrate your undying love for anyone by hugging, cuddling, kissing or otherwise exchanging bodily fluids. Yuk. Which brings to mind boxes of tissue and a separate plastic bag to discard used tissues. All of this matters, regardless of what you may see as trivial. It is not trivial.
If at all feasible, without inconveniencing everyone in the house, sleep alone. Whether this be another room entirely or simply your own bed or reasonable facsimile. Sympathy and compassion may strike your significant other, who then offers to be the one who gives up the bed you normally share. How sweet. Remember this if and when they become ill. Keep the Karma flowing. I should add at this point, that it's a good idea to bathe or shower daily and change into clean clothes, tossing the worn items into the laundry at that time.
Remember when your confinement has been lifted, your particular sick room or space, should be scrubbed down with disinfectant and of course, all bed linens, put through the heavy laundry cycle with hot water, detergent and bleach.
Should this sound to you as though you're participating in a training course to work in a hospital, consider this: The average hospital is precisely where 90% of the nastiest, most contagious and often lethal germs are acquired! You and your family are actually safer and much more protected at home, using the methods described herein. Bottom line? There is no such thing as being too cautious when intending to control the spread of germs, in terms of illnesses.
When the patient is a child......
A sick child is another story with it's own considerations. Obviously, if there is more than one child it can be a considerable effort on the part of Mom and Dad, to keep the little darlings as apart from one another as possible, but it can be done. A note of importance here would be shared toys. You guessed it. If you can designate a certain number of toys exclusively to the sick child you have not only performed a miracle, it is the ideal situation. Otherwise and more realistically, all washable toys after playtime, go into the dishwasher or washing machine or bucket of hot water with soap and/or bleach. Bag the stuffed animals and put them out of sight for a while.
Soap and water! Hand washing. I must not forget what is well known as the single-most important activity for discarding those filthy germs down the drain for good. Lots of soap and hot water working up a good lather and rubbing your hands together for a full 2 minutes. This is the recommendation at numerous times throughout the day.
These are the basics. More power and protection to you if you add your own unique tricks to the basics. All that's left is to wish you well....be healthy, happy and proactive.