Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Outsmarting flu this winter

The frost bite of winter is without doubt endured by many of us nowadays.

The mornings are chilly and waking up in the morning is no longer as easy as a few weeks ago. You are forced to reset your alarm at least twice before you can kick your warm blankets away. Except for the low and unfriendly temperatures, especially to African folks, winter is known for bringing common colds and flu.

The later is not only known for causing runny noses, aches and coughs but also known to cause loss of lives ÔÇô a saddening issue. Flu has caused deaths around the World. There are a number of things you can try to cope with winter and all that it brings.

Boost your immune system!
Normally, fruits and fruit extracts (juice) are rich in vitamin C, which is vital to your immune system, especially around this time of winter. Some people, especially those with chronic diseases, the very old and young children may benefit from a mixture that contains many vitamins and minerals that play a role in boosting one’s immunity. Ask your doctor and pharmacist for advice.

Get a flu shot!
It is wise to get vaccinated for flu. Although this is not readily available to everyone, the flu vaccine is available and with your doctor’s advice one can benefit from it. It is also equally important to understand that flu vaccine, just like any medicine, has effects that may be undesirable to certain individuals. This means you need to ask the relevant health experts, understand and see who can benefit from it in your family.

Get in control
Chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, HIV and AIDS do weaken ones immunity. Sometimes diet alone may not help you maximally. So it’s better you know your CD4 count now and ensure that you take your treatment well if you have not been coping with it. Alcohol intake and smoking should be decreased because they also weaken the body’s defence system. Chronic drinkers especially those who usually “blackout” are always at risk of hypothermia (temperatures dropping so low below normal) and this puts them at risk of freezing to death.

Keep warm!
In many instances, people utilise air conditioners to keep warm. That’s fine but please understand that not everyone tolerates them. Some members of the family may be hypersensitive to dust, which causes recurrent blockage and runny noses and sometimes cough, which may be misinterpreted as flu. Allergic attack is different and thus treatment is different. The asthmatic kids or adults may also not tolerate dust very well. Dusty and dry air is highly likely cause an asthmatic attack or makes them worse. So one could consider things like oil heaters which do not really dry the air or emit dust!

Prevent spread of flu!
It is wise to prevent spread of flu to unaffected individuals. Flu presents with sneezing, fever, body pains, loss of appetite and taste, cough, headaches. Sneezing, coughing and poor hand hygiene are key to the spread of flu. It’s acceptable not to share a bed for a while with a partner that has flu to prevent spread. The same can be done for kids. These little ones, just like adults, should be encouraged to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze to prevent spread to others or even infants.

Get well!

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