It’s that time of year again when the flu virus becomes a prevalent fact of life. But does that mean that there’s nothing you can do to prevent contracting the flu? Of course not! There are plenty of things you can do to reduce your risk of catching the flu. Some of these flu prevention tips are just common sense put into good regular practice.

Washing your Hands

The number one suggestion for preventing the flu is hand washing. Sounds so simple yet many of us fail to make this basic act a routine practice. Take for example using a pen, keyboard, mouse, even the photocopier at work after a fellow employee who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms; if you wash your hands before you touch your eyes, face, and mouth you can eliminate the transfer of germs into your system which can then begin to establish an attack of the flu. Medical professionals all agree that hand washing is incredibly effective at preventing the spread of germs and viruses that can cause the flu.

The key to making hand washing your first line of defense is to make this a routine habit. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Wash before you eat, after being in crowded areas or public spaces such as shopping malls, buses, schools, offices; anywhere that large groups of people gather.

Cleaning Contact Surfaces

At work, routinely clean your keyboard and mouse and phone and desk area. Wipe down the copier machine and keep your lunch room clean and tidy. Wipe your eating area before and after you eat. And wash your hands.

Getting a Flu Shot

Another highly recommended practice to prevent the flu is to get your flu shot. Experts recommend that you get a flu shot yearly. The vaccine is formulated each year to protect against the viruses that are expected to be most common that year. A lot of research goes into the flu shot so you can be confident that you are receiving a vaccine that will be effective. Getting the flu vaccine means that visits to the doctor and missed work and school days will be reduced during the season. This will also help to prevent flu related hospitalizations.

Those who are 6 months of age and older are recommended getting the flu vaccine before the end of October each year. Those who are at high risks such as young children, expectant mothers, people who work in the health care field, those with chronic conditions, and the elderly should definitely get the flu vaccine.

These days getting the flu shot is easier than ever. While you can certainly schedule an appointment with your doctor for the shot, you can also visit flu shot clinics that are set up in a variety of places such as schools, pharmacies, and health care clinics. If you are unsure of where you can go to get the flu vaccine check with your local hospital or your own health care provider for a list of centres or you can go online to to find a location near you. Your Brant Arts pharmacist is certified to perform injections so contact us today to schedule your annual flu shot!