“May trangkaso na ba ang lahat?”
Filipinos do really have a knack for making unfortunate situations, seem less fortunate. But when one gets sick, there isn’t really anything fortunate to make out of it. Flu season coincides with the rainy season in the country, and as a country that gets visited by approximately 20 typhoons each year, some familiarity and precautionary measures are already engraved in our ways of living.
But at this point, even the most prepared and careful among us, tend to catch the unwanted cold like a ball unwittingly coming right at you. The good thing, though, is there are steps we can take to get rid of it as soon as we can, if not fight it off completely, because who would want to struggle to deliver a pitch during the most important meeting of your life or stay in bed during the most crucial week at work?
Some of the things we’ll mention, you already know, by heart. But we all need a little bit of reminding sometimes. So, if you get to reach this part, consider yourself reminded.
Not long ago, getting vaccinated was at the top of the general population’s priority. If there is anything that phase taught us, it’s the fact that Science truly gets its job done. Because, after almost three years, we can finally say that the COVID-19 scare is no longer as scary as how it struck us back in 2020. Thanks mostly to the majority of the population getting inoculated.
In case this has not reached you yet, Influenza (flu, trangkaso), is the only respiratory illness preventable by vaccination. Getting the preventive shot annually automatically reduces 60% of Flu risks. Though free flu vaccines may still be limited to select regions and age groups, shelling out to get the protection you need against different kinds of flu viruses is all worth it. Visit your local health centers and talk to their experts. They may be offering flu vaccines at a cheaper rate, or if you are in luck, free of charge.
Alternative, but effective, measures to prevent Flu
Many of us may still not be a fan of the needle. Especially if it’s going to get through you, intramuscularly. To be quite fair, Flu shots do sting. But you truly reap the reward of not getting sick if you manage to brave it. And yes, even those with chicken or egg allergies can now safely receive the flu vaccines. But if that still does not convince you, there are ways you could still prevent the Flu—many, in fact.
Going for the obvious ones, avoid close contact with people who are sick. That practice works both ways because if you are the one who’s sick, distancing yourself from people will protect them from getting sick, too.
Anchoring from the second tip, staying home when you are sick prevents spreading your illness to others. However, this may be a luxury to many. So, if it’s not possible to stay home for work or school, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing will be appreciated by people around you.
Clean hands save lives
We know that viruses are mainly spread by droplets. But germs also spread when we touch something that is contaminated. One of the first things they teach in school is proper hygiene. Yes, washing our hands, whenever possible, may be a simple task, but a truly effective one. Even during the recent pandemic we were in, it was proven that proper hand washing kills off viruses.
You don’t believe it? Remember that viral video of a preschool teacher explaining to her students, using a bar soap and ground pepper, how handwashing prevents viruses? No? Then maybe just remember the “Safeguard konsensiya” telling you that washing your hands with a bar soap kills 99.9% of bacteria and other virus-causing germs. But if washing your hands is not possible, at least make it a habit to ensure it’s always clean by using an alcohol-based hand rub.
Maintain good health habits
As mentioned earlier, viruses spread, not only by air droplets but also through contact with contaminated things. So, regularly cleaning and disinfecting your things at home, work, or school will really go a long way. Following healthy sleep hygiene, eating nutritious food, and increasing fluid intake are just some of the habits we should keep in our routine, even when we are not sick.
If you want to learn more about how you can prevent the Flu, it is always wise to seek your doctor’s opinion to be guided accordingly. You may also visit the nearest health center in your area. They are usually equipped with resources that you can use to fight off the Flu. That said, knowing is always your first weapon against unwanted illnesses. Stay safe and healthy this season of giving!