Wash your hands to prevent the flu.

Your Health, Primary Care

5 Simple Ways to Prevent the Flu

Do you know how to prevent the flu? Here are 5 proven tips that show flu prevention doesn't need to be complicated.

Do you know how to prevent the flu? Here are 5 proven tips that show flu prevention doesn't need to be complicated.

Every year, you hear about new ways to prevent the flu. Elderberry syrup and Greek yogurt, zinc and acupuncture – they’re all touted to fight the flu. But the truth is, they’re not all proven to work; in fact, some aren’t even proven to be safe

Fortunately, these 5 tips for preventing the flu are doctor-approved and oh, so simple.    

[1] Get a flu shot.

We know, we know. Enough about the flu shot already. But the flu vaccine really is your first and best defense against influenza – which is increasingly important this year as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, if you do catch the flu, it’s been shown to reduce how long you’re sick, as well as your risk for complications.

You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or an urgent care near you.

[2] Protect your personal space.

All the same precautions and safety measures we are taking to limit the spread of COVID-19 can help limit the spread of the flu this season. The flu is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing and even talking. Continue to maintain social distancing, avoid large group gatherings, wear a mask and most importantly – if you’re sick, stay home.

[3] Keep your hands washed.

You can also catch flu germs by touching infected surfaces. Washing your hands helps stop germs from spreading. Be sure to stock up on soap, and wash your hands frequently, scrubbing for about 20 seconds each time. If you’re on the go, alcohol hand gel works well if your hands are not visibly soiled.

[4] Don’t touch your face.

To decrease your chances of getting sick, avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth. Easier said than done: It’s estimated that the average person puts a hand on their mouth or nose more than three times an hour.

[5] Disinfect – everything!

Disinfectant is your best friend this season. Make it a point to clean and disinfect all surfaces, objects and toys that could have flu germs. 

See? Fighting the flu doesn’t have to be complicated. If you hear about a new flu prevention method you want to try, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe and right for you.