Keep healthy this flu season

It would seem the new flu strains are getting worse each year.

Whether or not you get a flu shot, there are some things you can do to minimise your risk of contracting the flu this winter. Flu symptoms usually start suddenly, not gradually. Some of the signs include a fever or feeling chills, a cough, a sore through, a stuffy or runny nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. It’s important to note though, that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Wash your hands regularly, particularly your thumbs as these come into contact with all types of surfaces. Keep a hand sanitiser handy – excuse the pun – and use it throughout the day. Be careful where you place your handbag, purse or backpack. Don’t put items on the floor, especially a bathroom or public toilet floor, then place them on a kitchen benchtop or workspace. Bacteria and germs are easily transferred from surface to surface this way.

Keep your toothbrushes separate, or even covered to avoid germs spreading. If one of you has early symptoms of flu, the easiest way to spread it around the family is via toothbrushes stored together.

Clean door and drawer handles regularly. These hold more germs than most places around your home, because they are always touched by people’s hands. You can even use a sanitiser for extra protection.

Shoe soles carry all sorts of germs. In cold months, encourage family members to leave their shoes at the front door, preferably in a storage area or basket. Germs are easily transferred to surfaces when someone puts their shoe-covered feet up on a coffee table, lounge or other item of furniture.

Don’t eat your lunch at your work desk. Your desktop is a haven for germs, put there by you and visitors throughout the day. The same goes for taking items, such as your phone, laptop or tablet, into the bathroom. When you put these down on a surface they can easily pick up germs and bacteria.