According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9 to 41 million Americans suffer from the flu every year. In total, Americans miss over 111 million workdays yearly due to flu-related illnesses.
The flu season in the United States begins in late fall and continues throughout winter, peaking in January and February. During this time, it’s vital to take steps to protect your home from flu and keep your family from developing severe infections.
This is especially the case now that we have COVID-19, whose symptoms are similar to those of the flu.
Fortunately, the prevention tactics that work for flu are the same you need to keep Coronavirus out of your home. Below, we’ll look at the various ways you can safeguard your home from flu and COVID-19.
1. Get Vaccinated
The best way to protect yourself from flu is by getting vaccinated. Every family member aged six months and above should get a flu shot to reduce their risk of infection.
It’s pretty easy to get a shot—at a clinic, pharmacy, work, or your nearest grocery store. Get your vaccine each year, and ensure to get appropriate shots for the influenza viruses that are predicted to be viral during the particular season.
The best time to receive your vaccine is late fall before the flu season begins in December. Older family members should go for the high-dose flu shot.
You can get your shot without a doctor’s appointment but always see your doctor first if you have allergic reactions to eggs or mercury. While a flu shot gives you ample protection against influenza, it’s not 100% effective, so you should still practice other habits to keep your family safe.
2. Avoid Contact with Ill Persons
Persons ill with flu are contagious for up to a week after showing symptoms. Any contact with them puts you and others at high risk of contracting an infection. So limit contact as much as possible.
Stay away from everyone else until you are past the contagious period if you’re sick.
Avoiding contact applies to keeping a physical distance from the ill person and not sharing items with them. These include dishes, towels, and utensils. Always wash any item they use thoroughly with disinfectant and hot water if applicable.
3. Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
When you cough or sneeze, droplets can travel a distance of about 6 feet from you, landing on any nearby surfaces and people. This is a significant way through which influenza and COVID-19 germs spread.
To prevent this, always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing. Ensure that everybody in the house does this if they have these symptoms. If they have no access to tissue or paper towels, ask them to cough into the crook of their elbow.
These methods contain the spread of germs, keeping them off surfaces in the house. After sneezing or coughing, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
4. Wash Your Hands Thoroughly
Most people contract flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory infections by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes.
To avoid this, wash your hands thoroughly after touching a high-traffic surface or object in the house.
Countertops in the kitchen and bathroom, door handles, and tables are some of these surfaces. Wash hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least twenty seconds before rinsing. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
After washing your hands, dry them with a paper towel. Avoid using shared cloth towels as they easily retain and spread germs to others.
5. Clean your Home
Cleaning your house regularly and thoroughly goes a long way in keeping flu viruses in check. Disinfect all high-touch areas, including countertops, faucets, and door handles. Also, disinfect frequently shared items like remote controls, mobile phones, and computers.
When wiping surfaces and objects, use disposable paper towels or disinfectant wipes. Washcloths and sponges commonly used for wiping down around the house can easily transmit germs from one place to another.
If you’re going to use a sponge, microwave it under high heat after every use to effectively eliminate all germs.
When choosing a disinfectant to clean the house, ensure it’s effective against the virus you’re targeting. For instance, some disinfectants can kill some germs but not the COVID-19 virus. It’s wise to get a strong disinfectant that kills all types of influenza viruses that pose a danger to your family.
Besides surfaces and shared items, you should clean laundry thoroughly to eliminate all germs. Wash towels, sheets, and blankets with a strong detergent, then dry under high temperatures.
We encourage you to opt for a cleaning maid service if you’re infected. Taking care of the house when you’re sick puts everyone else at risk, so it’s best to get help. You’ll find a housekeeper ready to offer same-day cleaning whenever you need them through our site.
6. Practice Healthy Living
Alongside vaccination, a strong immune system is your best defense against flu. With strong immunity, your body will easily fight against any viral infection. This promotes faster healing and lowers your risk of developing severe symptoms or complications.
Healthy living habits that’ll help build your immunity include eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising regularly. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and liquids.
It’s also a great idea to take vitamin and antioxidant supplements that are beneficial to the immune system during the flu season.
Avoid stress and get enough rest to avoid putting your body through strain that weakens its immune response, making you vulnerable to infections.
A Clean House for a Healthy Family
Respiratory infections such as flu and COVID-19 can have serious complications leading to hospitalization or death. It’s, therefore, essential to take every step to ensure your house is free of these viruses.
Professional cleaning services are one way to ensure all important surfaces in your house are disinfected adequately. An experienced house cleaner will clean your home thoroughly, making it safe for you and your family.
At Anita’s Housekeeping, we can help you find highly-rated cleaners you can trust to keep your home germ-free.
The professionals you’ll find through our site have the supplies and equipment to safeguard your house, whether you’re preventing an infection or need cleaning up after a family member got infected. All you need to do is request a booking, and we’ll match you with a cleaner offering the services you need.