Flu season starts in the fall. Germs spread as children return to school settings and houses get shut up to keep the cold out. Here are three things you should know about the seasonal flu.
#1 – You're Contagious Before You Have Symptoms
Once you're exposed to the flu virus, it can take four days for the germs to develop and produce the symptoms like a fever, aches and pains, and a cough. In those four days, you can pass the flu to other people.
The same is true of becoming sick. Your parent could be exposed to someone who has the flu and doesn't realize it. The best way to prevent it is by washing hands for the full minute in hot, soapy water Your mom and dad should also cover the nose and mouth with the inside of the elbow when sneezing or coughing.
#2 – The Droplets From a Cough or Sneeze Travel
MIT did a study to see how far the moisture from a sneeze or a cough travels. Using high-speed video, the researchers found mucus and large droplets travel up to 6.56 feet. Smaller droplets travel just over 26 feet. The spray from a cough doesn't travel as far, but it still travels. The smaller droplets can travel as far as 19 feet.
Your parent could be on the other side of a room and breathe in smaller droplets after that infected person sneezes or coughs. With a weakened immune system, your parent may be better off putting on a surgical mask before going out.
#3 – Outside of the Body the Virus Can Survive for Two Days
Flu germs on a surface can live for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces like door handles, ATM keypads, and phones. They can survive as long as 12 hours on clothing, paper towels, and tissues. Cleaning surfaces with a solution of bleach and water is the best way to kill germs on phones, desks, pens, and doors.
If your mom or dad gets the flu, they'll need some help around the home. The flu is exhausting. Coughing makes it hard to sleep. Hire home care professionals to cook meals, keep the house clean, and ensure your mom or dad stays hydrated.
Caregivers can also alert you to complications. If your parent needs medical attention, a caregiver can make sure the doctor is called. Caregivers can drive your mom or dad to the hospital. They can get your parent to a clinic to get the flu shot before the flu season even kicks into high gear. Call a home care agency to learn about other ways caregivers can help during flu season.
If you or an aging loved one is considering homecare in Apache Junction, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.