The flu (influenza) season is severe this year. Hospitalization rates are continuing to rise to levels not seen since the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. It has been reported by Canadian researchers that the flu vaccine against this years’ H3N2 strain is only 17% effective and only 10% effective in adults age 20-64. Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to reduce your risk by reducing your exposure.
Limiting exposure to the flu virus is essential for preventing infection. The flu virus can live for 24 hours on inanimate surfaces such as door knobs, table and counter tops, escalator rails, gas station pumps, ATM buttons, shopping cart handles, etc. Here are some great, easy strategies to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not having enough sleep is a major risk factor for increasing risk of infection.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands as this is an easy entry way for the virus. If unable to wash your hands, you can use alcohol based sanitizers or hand wipes.
- Alcohol, chlorine and hydrogen peroxide can kill the flu virus. You can use or make products with them to help sanitize shared areas and surfaces.
- Provide loved ones who are infected with care and support, while also promptly cleaning up their dishes and shared surfaces like water faucets, toilet handles and door knobs.
- Clean surfaces that you touch often such as your car steering wheel, workstation computer keys, mouse, and your phone or cell phone with alcohol or chlorine based products.
- While being in public places, it is extremely important to wash your hands often, especially before eating food.
Check back in next week for a discussion of some of the research into ViraDefend’s herbs, and how they have been seen to support our fight against flu!