Flu Season Health Tips for the Whole Family
October marks the start of flu season across the U.S. — and with COVID-19 still spreading, school back in session, and communities reopening, taking the proper protective measures to keep your family safe has never been more important.
Though we’ve all been in the mode of protecting ourselves for the past year and a half, here are some refreshers as we head into this flu season.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet focused on foods rich in vitamins C and E helps to support a healthy immune system, which is your body’s natural defense against illnesses. Here are some foods you may want to add to your shopping list throughout flu season:
- Sunflower seeds.
- Almonds and peanuts.
- Orange juice.
- Green peppers.
Make an effort to limit your sugar intake this season as well, as too much sugar can impair your immune response. That may mean ditching the soda and replacing it with water!
Drink Plenty of Water
Increasing your water intake can help you lessen your chance of coming down with the flu and other illnesses — and it’s good for your overall health, too! Drinking extra fluids can also fight dehydration if you do find yourself falling ill this season.
Keep Up With Personal Health Routines
Knowing that viruses spread from droplets made when someone with the illness coughs, sneezes, or talks, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your family as safe as possible. This includes mask-wearing when recommended, social distancing, getting vaccinated, and properly washing your hands.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands
If you’ve been washing your hands incorrectly, you may not be protecting your family as well as you thought. Each time you wash your hands, be sure to follow these steps to keep your hands clean:
- Wet your hands with clean, hot running water.
- Lather your hands with antibacterial hand soap, being sure to get between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub every side of your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands with clean, hot running water.
- Dry your hands with a clean, disposable hand towel.
By completing these steps, you’ll keep your hands as clean as possible and prevent the spread of germs.
Do I Still Need a Flu Shot?
Many patients have asked if they still need to get their annual flu shot amid the pandemic, even if they’re vaccinated against COVID-19 — and the answer is yes. Influenza is still a risk; the COVID-19 vaccine does not combat the influenza virus and vice versa.
You should still receive your flu shot this year (by the end of October for the best defense all season long). Additionally, you should consider being vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are not already.
What to Do If You Become Sick
Though you may take all necessary precautions to help ward off the flu and COVID-19 this season, there is a chance that you may become infected or exposed. If you have flu-like symptoms, you should visit your doctor for testing to determine if you have the flu, a cold, or COVID-19.
Telemedicine Options at Gemini Urgent Care
While most symptoms of the flu require plenty of fluids and rest, there are some cases where you may want to see a doctor. If you’re looking for quick, quality medical care, you may want to meet with our staff through our telehealth program.
With no driving or paperwork needed, late-night hours, and medications available, this is a great option to help your family receive expert medical advice from the comfort of your home.
When diagnosing a patient, doctors start with looking for a cough and fever — which are the two most common symptoms of the flu. From there, your doctor may ask you additional questions about your condition to help diagnose you. However, if you have additional symptoms such as loss of taste or smell, this could be a sign that you have COVID-19.
COVID-19 vs. the Flu
Because the two conditions share many of the same symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you head to your local urgent care for COVID-19 testing. If they believe you have the flu, they may recommend at-home therapeutic methods to help you feel better sooner.
Houston Flu Care for the Entire Family
At Gemini Urgent Care, we’re dedicated to providing our community with fast, friendly, high-quality unscheduled acute and chronic medical services in a comfortable setting. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of care while providing excellent customer service and personalized attention.
If you become sick this flu season, stop into our walk-in clinic today or learn more about your telemedicine options. To learn more about our services or help with any questions, contact our team today.