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As the colder months are creeping up on us, unfortunately, so is the cold and flu season – just in time to complement our winter blues.
Taking measures before the cold and flu season can help you avoid getting sick and also prevent the spread of these illnesses to your loved ones and the community. Because, and let's be honest, who wants to be stuck in bed with a killer headache and sniffles?
If you're reading this, then you're probably on the lookout for ways to protect yourself and others around you from the flu virus.
It’s best to aim to get the shot two to three weeks before the flu season begins to ensure maximum protection during peak season. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to become effective, so it’s a good idea to book in advance we recommend from April onwards! If you are wondering when to book yours, the ideal answer is now, but it's also never too late.
Note that the highest level of protection occurs in the first three to four months after the vaccination. It's important to remember that not only does it protect you from getting sick, but it also helps protect those in our communities who might be more vulnerable to the flu, such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems and underlying health conditions.
So, what are some good habits to practise every cold and flu season besides the venerable flu jab? While getting the vaccine is a valuable addition to our kit against the flu, we need to remember the most important shield we can build against both colds and flu is none other than our immune system. The reality is that seasonal influenza causes between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths every year around the world, and while the vaccine is one preventative tool its effectiveness is still 30-60%. Ultimately, our immune system is the first line of defence against any foreign invaders.
So, how do you go about building your immune system? According to Nutrition Australia, getting enough sleep, exercising and ensuring a nutrient-rich diet are the foundational steps to strengthening that first line of defence.
Preparation is key! Stocking up from your local pharmacy and preparing for cold and flu saves you time, energy and money! Having remedies on hand can help you reduce your symptoms before they worsen and could speed up your recovery. Making use of well-known pharmaceutical products such as pain relievers, cold and cough medicine, and decongestants can take symptoms from uncomfortable to bearable. Drink your honey and lemon and your ginger tea, but make sure to shorten your way to recovery with recommended over-the-counter medicines.
Luckily, there are heaps of remedies and pharmaceutical products out there that can help speed up your recovery time if you do get struck down. But it's even better to prevent getting sick in the first place. It may sound too simple, but common sense can take you far. That's when good hygiene comes in!
Good hand hygiene protects you from germs that cause diseases and sicknesses, such as the ever-present flu. Introducing healthy hygiene practices is crucial to prevent the spread of the illness, so increase the frequency of hand hygiene and surface cleaning!
As transmission can occur both through direct and indirect contact and the virus can last on surfaces for up to two days and in hands for as long as five minutes, it is important to make sure you wash your hands regularly, frequently disinfect and clean surfaces and maintain a correct cough and sneeze etiquette. So, get your favourite hand soap and slide a hand sanitiser into your pocket. Easy!
Good hygienic habits, in general, are indeed associated with a reduced risk of infection and transmission. So, let's stay clean, stay healthy, and get ready to tackle the cold and flu season head-on.
Usually, the LAST thing you want to be doing is to leave your house when you are sick.
If you do happen to catch a bug, remember to take it easy, stay hydrated, and give yourself some time to rest and recover.
So instead of going to the doctor in person, you can now manage your health and meds from the comfort of your home with your pharmacy. How? The MedAdvisor app can give you quick and easy access to information about treatments, symptoms and precautions during this dreaded season.
But that's not all! Using our medical management app can make it really easy for you to order prescription medications online, but also set up reminders to take them on time. So no more worrying about running out and risking exposure to illness or discomfort by going out to the pharmacy when you are sniffly. And … no more waiting! By doing this, you can also reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others, so why not give it a go?
Create your MedAdvisor account here today and learn more about how to better manage your medications during this flu season!
Disclaimer: MedAdvisor would like to remind our readers that the information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider for personalized information and guidance related to your specific health concerns.