Before we get started, the author of this article (Kevin) is not a health care professional. Do your own research before making decisions that affect your health. Links in this article are being provided for information purposes only.
The flu is a viral respiratory infection – there is no real treatment or cure. Once someone catches the flu, there is little that doctors can do for the patient. One of the most important considerations about the flu, is to stop the spread of the disease.
The flu is spread through infected cough droplets. The infected person coughs, which spews forth maybe millions of droplets that carry the flu virus. Other people breath in those infected droplets. And as a result, they become infected with the flu.
Cover your cough – One of the most important considerations is for people to cover their cough. This can be done with your hand, shirt sleeve, cloth or tissue.
This is the way I like to cover my cough – when you feel the urge to cough, use the non-dominate hand, place the web of the hand between the pointer finger and the thumb just under the nose. The persons hand should form a cup, that is pointed downwards. When the cough droplets are expelled through the mouth, they hit the inside of the hand and are forced downward, instead of straight out and onto other people. Also, turn your head away from other people when coughing.
Notice that the non-dominate hand is mentioned – this is to stop the thread of the flu virus to door knobs and other items that people might pick up with their dominate hand. If you meet a friend and shake their hand, you do not want to touch the other persons hand with the hand you just coughed in.
The Center for Disease Control does not recommend coughing into your hand. They recommend using your shirt.
But either way – cover your cough. Take every precaution possible to prevent exposing others to your cough droplets.
Wash your hands – hand washing is one of the primary ways that diseases are spread. By simply washing your hands before you eat or before preparing food for others can help stop the spread of diseases.
When washing your hands, be sure to use soap and warm water, get in between the fingers, use warm water and wash for at least 15 seconds.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
Quarantine and Isolation – If your sick, stay at home. Do not go around other people. If you know that someone else is sick, do not go around them. Diseases can not be spread unless there is contact with other people.
Face mask – when caring for people that are sick with the flu – wear some kind of face mask. Examples of this include the N95 face mask.
Vaccines – There are vaccine for certain types of the flu virus. But the vaccine has to match the type of flu strain going around. You you get a vaccine for a certain type of flu, but catch a different kind, well, too bad. The Center for Disease Control recommends flu vaccines.
There are two types of flu vaccines – the shot and the nasal spray. So if your afraid of needles, get the spray.