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Getting Ready For the Flu Season

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Simple flu prevention tips

The novel influenza A (H1N1) or swine flu detected by our health authorities last April 2009 is top on most everybody's mind these days. This threat is at our doorstep and can spread even beyond man-made boarders.

The swine flu is just like the seasonal flu. The clinical manifestations of both are similar; such as fever above 38 degrees celsius, cough, headache, aching joints, nasal congestion and general fatigue. We call this a novel virus because we have not encountered this before.

However, there is a 'flu prevention triad' that we can do together with our families so as not to make ourselves vulnerable targets of this ailment. The triad is simply personal hygiene, surface and air cleaning and immune boosting.

Personal hygiene

This includes washing our hands often, at least 20 seconds with soap and water or by using alcohol-based cleaners. Because it is a highly contagious respiratory disease, we could get it almost anywhere - from doorknobs to handshakes and even kissing, so there is a need for a clean environment and personal hygiene.

Surface and air cleaning

We need to ventilate our homes, let the sunshine in and keep clean common items such as telephones. Disinfectants and air sanitizers kill germs (including cold and flu viruses). We need to clean carpets and other breeding grounds of germs and bacteria that can cause odors, allergic reactions and infectious disease.

Immune boosting

We need to eat healthy foods and exercise to build a defense system. Stress avoidance, taking multivitamins or flu vaccines could also help. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended to maintain a potent immune system.

This health issue we have right now is giving the world a scare, but by taking precautionary measures, such as staying informed, cleanliness, and developing healthy bodies, we can prevent this thing from harming us and our families.


The author is a short story and Web content writer. Irene is also a member of an international writers' team (also known as "the book team") doing a collaborative novel writing project.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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