Whilst the cold weather doesn’t directly cause the flu, people are more likely to get ill during the Winter months. One of the reasons for this is that the flu virus has been found to survive better, and circulate further when the air outside is drier and cooler. Another factor is the tendency to spend a lot more time indoors during the Winter months; being in closed, shared spaces (especially whilst the heater is on) creates an environment for germs to multiply & spread.
In order to minimise your chances of catching the flu, it’s important to thoroughly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer (ideally alcohol free) to kill germs and stop them spreading from person to person. The downside of antibacterial soaps & hand sanitizers is that they can dry out/irritate the skin. Applying thick moisturising lotion will rehydrate & soothe the skin, protecting it from becoming dry & chapped (in addition to causing discomfort, severely chapped skin, will create additional openings for germs to enter through which could lead to infection).
If you become ill with the flu, here are some steps you can take to reduce symptoms and speed up recovery:
- Make sure to drink plenty of water/hot drinks
- Have lots of rest and extra sleep
- Take paracetamol/acamol to lower your temperature and ease aches & pains
- Stay home (from school/work) to prevent others from getting ill too
- Evidence shows that taking Vitamin D (5000 in, daily), Vitamin C (1g, 2-3 times a day) and Zinc (25mg daily) can be beneficial in recovery from the flu. In addition, eating a crushed garlic clove mixed with a teaspoon of honey is an effective supplement to aid recovery (albeit not so tasty!).
If your flu symptoms are lingering, worsening or severe, it’s advised to visit a doctor who can prescribe prescription medication, to ease flu like symptoms and speed up recovery. One of the services we provide at Tel Aviv Doctor is Intravenous (IV) Vitamin Therapy. High doses of IV Vitamins possess anti viral properties & can boost the immune system, as well as having many other benefits
Flu vaccinations are marketed as being primarily necessary for those who are high risk (such as small children, pregnant women, elderly people & those with certain medical conditions). However, The US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive annual flu vaccinations. Whilst the flu is not usually life threatening, for some people it CAN be – in severe cases, the flu can lead to seizures, pneumonia & even cause death.
Being vaccinated will protect you against flu related illnesses, thus reducing the chance of missing school/work, having to visit the doctor/hospital and will also protect vulnerable people who you may come into contact with. Although the flu vaccination does not give 100% protection from contracting the flu virus, it has been shown that there is a reduction is the severity and length of illness for those who get the flu after being vaccinated.