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January
31
posted by: LIT First Aid on: January 31, 2020


Photo by
Kelly Sikkema

 

The peak of the flu season is upon us. Left and right, friends, colleagues, and family members seem to be coming down with the flu. Read on to learn what measures you can take to prevent the flu from infecting you and your loved ones.

 

Influenza—commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory virus that affects the upper and lower respiratory tract. Healthy individuals can be afflicted with the flu in varying degrees, such as severity of symptoms and duration of illness, lasting from a week to ten days or more. However, the flu can be extremely dangerous for young children and the elderly as they can be fighting it off for much longer and it can lead to more serious illnesses like pneumonia. 

 

In Canada, the flu is ranked among the top 10 leading causes of death, with an estimated 12,200 hospital stays and 3,500 deaths per year. 

 

Individuals with the flu can experience symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue and feeling weak
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Coughing
     

However, symptoms can vary per person. 

 

The flu is spread by inhaling droplets containing the flu virus. Transmission occurs when someone who is infected sneezes or coughs and the airborne droplets are inhaled into the respiratory tract of an unsuspecting person nearby. The flu is also contracted through direct contact with the virus such as sharing cups, dishes or utensils with a sick person, and/or handling items contaminated by an infected individual.  

 

How do you prevent the flu? 

 
  1. Frequent and thorough handwashing is key
  2. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  3. Disinfect commonly-used surfaces at home or work, such as doorknobs and keyboards.
  4. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your sleeve.
  5. Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth
  6. Stay at home when sick to prevent the spread of illness to others
  7. Talk to a health care provider to see if the annual flu shot is right for you and your family.
 

The flu can be a difficult and annoying sickness to endure. Take the precautions above to prevent yourself from getting sick. If you or your family members do contract the flu, make sure to rest, hydrate, and treat aches and pains. To learn more about prevention and management of symptoms, consider taking a course with L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguard Training where you will be in a better position to help family members in need. You never know when you'll need to perform first aid. Inquire about courses today!

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