Lifestyle Tips to Prevent the Flu

May 09, 2023
Lifestyle Tips to Prevent the Flu
The flu is a miserable virus that can knock you out of commission for a week or more or morph into more serious health problems. Don’t wait for it to attack — protect yourself with these practical tips.

Los Angeles County’s peak flu season is October through March, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. About 2 million Los Angelinos get the flu every season, and the flu virus stays in the air and hangs out on surfaces, just waiting for a chance to enter your system. 

Treating viral infections is tricky, so you want to do everything you can to avoid the bug in the first place. That’s where we come in.

Dr. Amos Ladouceur and our Weekend Urgent Care team in View Park, California, treat unexpected illnesses seven days a week. We also want to help you ward off the flu virus before it infects you and your family. Here are some practical tips to help you keep the flu at bay. 

Flu 101

The flu is a viral illness that attacks your respiratory system. It’s highly contagious and can lead to severe complications. The most common flu symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue

If you’re thinking these sound similar to COVID-19 symptoms, you’re right, which is why differentiating between the two illnesses can be tricky. Fortunately, we provide COVID-19 testing for an accurate diagnosis. 

Flu complications

Flu complications are no joke, and they can range from mild, like dehydration and ear infections, to severe, like bronchitis and pneumonia. Catching the flu virus can also ramp up your symptoms associated with asthma or diabetes. 

The flu can go from run-of-the-mill to extreme unexpectedly, and the worst cases tend to attack people in a weakened state, namely pregnant women, young children, older adults, and folks with preexisting medical conditions.

Tips for avoiding the flu virus

While there’s no surefire way to avoid the flu if you are in situations where you could come into contact with the virus, we’ve compiled some helpful lifestyle tips that can reduce your risk of getting sick. 

Get vaccinated

Annual flu shots are critical in preventing the flu. Vaccinations are usually available from late September through May, and we recommend them for everyone over the age of 6 months.

Wash your hands regularly

Clean your hands more often than seems necessary. People got used to more frequent hand washing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that philosophy applies to the flu, too. 

Practice good hygiene

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, and throw away used tissues immediately. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hand.

Avoid touching your face

Touching your eyes, nose, and mouth can transfer germs and increase the likelihood of getting sick. 

Avoid large crowds

Because the flu virus spreads from person to person through droplets in the air, it makes sense to avoid crowded areas — like public transportation, malls, or sports events — where you’re more likely to come into contact with people infected with the flu. 

Disinfect surfaces

The flu virus can survive on surfaces for up to 24-48 hours, so you can easily pick it up by touching germy surfaces, such as doorknobs, countertops, and toys. 

Take care of yourself

Common-sense, healthy habits give you an advantage when it comes to fighting the flu. Sleep and eat well, and stay physically active. 

Following these lifestyle tips can reduce your risk of getting the flu and help prevent the spread of germs. To schedule your flu shot at Weekend Urgent Care, book an appointment online or call our friendly staff at 310-910-7221.