Viruses start early

Viruses start early
Thinking about getting a flu shot? Experts are predicting the upcoming influenza season is going to be longer than usual. Flu cases are already popping up in parts of the country.

The predominant strain is Influenza A (H3N2) followed by co-circulation of influenza B. According to health officials, the H3N2 strain affects older individuals more severely.

At the same time, another virus, called enterovirus D-68, has been sweeping through parts of North America, since mid-August. The virus affects mainly kids and teens as their immune systems are not fully developed.

The virus causes coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever and rapid breathing. Kids with asthma are especially vulnerable. Adults, exposed to the virus, may develop mild and cold-like symptoms.

Take preventative measures to prevent illnesses like flu or other viruses

Whether it’s the enterovirus or flu, it’s best to take preventive measures. Good healthy habits recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) include:

1. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, allowing at least 20 seconds under water with lots of lather. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Keep your hands off your face and away from your mouth.

2. Disinfect (using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, never antibacterial or antimicrobial products) doorknobs, and other shared surfaces frequently.

3. Keep each family member’s immune system healthy by making sure everyone gets enough sleep.

4.Get at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

5.Eat five to nine servings of veggies and fruits every day and drink plenty of fluids.

6.Boost immunity by laughing and smiling often.

7.Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

8.Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

9.Cover your mouth and nose.

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This content was written by Sheree Welshimer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sheree Welshimer for details.