There is plenty of free advice when it comes to the flu, but what do the experts recommend as the best way to get rid of the flu virus and keep it out of your home?
Everyone has an opinion on the best way to get rid of the flu virus. Some are rooted in reality, like regularly washing your hands. Other ideas may be a little unrealistic, like hooking your garden hose up to a vat of bleach and spraying down every room in your home. And sometimes it doesn’t seem like there is any way to battle the flu virus. One by one, everyone in your family feels “off” and has a fever 24 hours later.
The flu is, like it or not, part of our life. Whether the kids pick it up at school or you get it from that coworker who really should have stayed home yesterday, you’re going to come in contact with the virus. That doesn’t mean you have to accept it everywhere, though. You may not be able to do anything about the flu at work or the supermarket, but you can do something about it in your home.
4 Steps to Take to Avoid Getting the Flu Virus
The best way to get rid of the flu virus is prevention. If you can keep the virus from gaining a foothold in your home, you are well on the way to a healthier future.
1. Wash your hands
We touch a lot of things during the day: stair railings, door handles, counter tops, money, grocery carts, magazines, and the list goes on. You can pick up the flu virus from any one of these, so it’s important to wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Make it a habit to wash your hands before you eat. This not only limits the spread of the flu virus, but it’s also an excellent way to keep other harmful bacteria at bay.
2. Use an air purifier
Some air purifiers are designed to kill bacteria and viruses, and though you can spend a lot on one, there are some budget-friendly models available. Cleaner air isn’t just good for getting rid of the flu, either. It’s great for helping relieve allergies and reduce the dust in your home.
3. Disinfect surfaces
The flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, giving them plenty of time to spread. Disinfecting those surfaces can kill the virus, and it’s a simple three-step process, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that the EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus.”
You can view the list on the EPA website, but a few common cleaners that make the list include Lysol All Purpose Cleaner, Comet Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
Incidentally, microbiology Professor Chuck Gerba of the University of Arizona in Tucson recommends using disinfecting wipes. “When you use a disinfectant wipe, people wipe the surface and let it dry, which gives it more time to kill the organisms. It leaves some residual impact."
4. Wash linens
Just like hard surfaces, the flu virus can spread through contact with towels, sheets, pillowcases, and other linens. Don’t just wash them, though. It’s actually the dryer that kills viruses. Using the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes is the best way to get rid of the flu virus on your clothes and linens.
The Best Way to Get Rid of the Flu Virus
If, after all your cleaning and care, you still come down with the flu, there are some ways to find relief. Here are some great tips from WebMD:
- Rest: Your body needs energy to fight the virus, so stay home from school, call in sick to work, and get some sleep.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Remaining hydrated will help break up congestion and help you prevent headaches. Stick with water, hot tea, or broth; sodas and coffee can dehydrate you and make things worse.
- Take a hot shower: Whether or not this works is still debatable in the medical community. The steam may help loosen congestions and bring comfort to a dry nose and throat. What isn’t at question is the fact that a hot shower feels especially good when you are sick, and anything you can do to feel better is a remedy we can all get behind.
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