It’s not just the holiday season coming up – it’s flu season too. Those of us who have experienced the flu definitely don’t want it again, and nobody wants to be sick during the holidays. How can our co-workers and families best avoid the flu as we enter our busiest, and also most enjoyable season of the year? There are a few things to know and remember that might help.
First, some basic information: The flu is a virus that is spread through the air due to the sneezing or coughing of an infected person. You can breathe in the virus or you can get it on your hands from objects that you touch (when your hands touch your eyes, nose or mouth the virus enters.)
A logical way to avoid getting the flu is to keep your hands clean; make use of the hand sanitizers when at work or out in public. But since we can’t avoid breathing in a virus if it happens to be in the air where we are, many of us look to vaccines to help avoid the flu, or we might choose vaccine alternatives or natural medicines.
At AMS we ask our employees to avoid spreading the flu by staying home when they don’t feel well; stay in bed and get well. (You can tell the flu from a cold in that there is usually a fever above 100 degrees with the flu, and extreme fatigue.) We encourage the use of hand sanitizer by providing it in various stations. and we encourage our employees to look at the different ways of fighting the flu and choose what they feel is best.
Vaccines for influenza have been around for a long time – since 1938. Invented by Dr. Jonas Salk, a flu vaccine was used to protect US military forces during WW II. Since the flu virus constantly changes, the vaccine must change as well. Every year researchers suggest what the most common viruses will be and a vaccine is produced to protect against those.
Many people simply get vaccinated if their doctors recommend it. Others may look into vaccine ingredients such as egg protein, thiomerosal (mercury derivative), latex, antibiotics and so on, and reject the vaccine, choosing instead an alternative vaccine. FluBlok and Flucelvax are two different options for the flu shot that people with allergies or concerns about vaccine ingredients sometimes choose.
Many others turn to diet and supplements to boost the immune system and thus protect against the flu. Research has shown that persons with Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to get the flu, so taking D supplements is recommended (it’s easy to do and doesn’t require getting a shot!).
We hope that all of our employees, family and friends stay well during the upcoming holiday (and flu) season. Take care of your health, have a good time, and stay well!!