3 min read
Tell the flu to pack its things and leave.
Cough. Wheeze. Sneeze.
These sounds could signal the onset of the flu, which usually reaches its peak in February. If you or someone in your family comes down with the flu, do you know how to kick it to the curb?
Follow these 7 steps to rid your home of germs in the worst flu season months.
Step 1: Avoid the Flu
You’ve probably heard the flu prevention basics more than a few times, but it doesn't hurt to share them again:
- Avoid close contact with anyone who looks or sounds sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Get a flu shot.
- Prioritize sleep.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Wash your hands often, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
According to Health Magazine, these foods will help your body fight the flu:
- Plain yogurt
- Pumpkin seeds
Step 2: Know the Symptoms and When to Seek Treatment
This chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will help you spot the differences between the flu and the common cold, which share similar symptoms.
According to the CDC, the main flu symptoms are:
- Body or muscle aches
- Fever (this doesn’t occur in every flu case)
- Runny or stuffed-up nose
- Sore throat
- Vomiting and diarrhea, but these are more likely to occur in children
According to Live Science, you should seek medical attention for the flu when you experience these three symptoms. They could be early signs of pneumonia, which you want to avoid at all costs.
- Persistent shortness of breath.
- A 101℉ or higher temperature that doesn’t drop after you take medicine.
- A fatigue level that confines you to bed.
Step 3: Disinfect Your Phone
Your cell phone goes with you everywhere, and you probably use it more than any device you own. You touch your phone often, and this contact stockpiles germs. According to a study conducted by the University of Arizona, a cell phone can carry up to 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
There are a few ways to disinfect your phone, but the easiest method is to wipe it down with a disposable disinfectant wipe. To create your own disinfecting solution, use a 50/50 mix of distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and rub the device with it. While you’re at it, use these same techniques to disinfect other items like TV remotes and tablets.
Step 4: Wash Linens
The flu virus spreads through contact with towels, sheets, pillowcases, and other linens. Heat kills the virus, so put your dryer on high heat for 30 minutes after you load clothes and linens.
Step 5: Disinfect Surfaces
The flu virus lives on surfaces for up to 48 hours. According to the CDC, disinfecting surfaces takes three simple steps:
- Remove germs by washing surfaces with a household cleaner.
- Rinse the surface with water.
- Use an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. The EPA information will be on the product’s label. A few EPA-registered disinfectants include:
- Lysol® All-Purpose Cleaner
- Comet Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Step 6: Clean the Air
When you use an air purifier and a humidifier in your home, you bring several flu-fighting benefits to the table. Air purifiers help you breathe easier by capturing:
- Harmful air particles
- Pet dander
Humidifiers put moisture in the air by emitting steam or water vapor, and they can decrease risk of infections, keep sinuses comfortable, and reduce snoring.
Air purifiers and humidifiers carry water, so make sure to properly clean them to prevent the formation of mold.
Step 7: Precautionary Diet and Quarantine
If you come down with the flu, avoid:
- Crunchy, greasy, and processed foods
In other words, food and drinks from the “enjoy in moderation” category get moved to the “completely avoid” category. You should also avoid human contact as much as possible to stop the flu from spreading in your home.
There are many ways to fight the flu, but have you talked to your local Pekin Insurance agent about safeguarding your home through every season? Call, email, or stop by your independent Pekin Insurance agency to learn more about the protective powers of home insurance.