The 2011-2012 flu season officially starts this Saturday, October 1st. Influenza’s nasty symptoms include fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. To keep you in tip-top traveling condition, we’re offering you 7 quick and easy tips to help prevent the flu.
1. First and foremost, get your flu shot! It’s the single most important action to prevent the flu. Check out the CDC’s Vaccination Information page for more information.
2. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. It’s best to sneeze or cough into a tissue or handkerchief, but if those aren’t available, use the crook of your elbow.
3. Avoid people who are visibly sick. If someone around you is sneezing or coughing, turn your head away, or even cover your mouth and nose. This is especially important in tight spaces like elevators and airplanes.
4. Wash your hands with warm water and soap, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as often as possible. When washing, be sure to scrub up for at least 20 seconds.
5. When traveling, it’s also a good idea to use a sanitizing wipe on the airplane’s seatback tray, as well as on germy places in your hotel room, such as the remote control, light switches, and door knobs.
6. Keep your hands off your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, to avoid getting germs in these sensitive areas where they can easily spread.
7. Practice healthy habits, like moderate regular exercise, following a nutritious diet, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress. A healthy body is more likely to fend off illness.
Next week, we’ll share tips on what to do if you do get the flu. Stay tuned.