Staying Healthy During Flu Season
Staying Healthy During Flu Season
As we all know, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and as we are now entering flu season, there is a good chance things are going to get even more confusing. The two viruses are alike in many ways, and numerous people are going to end up in a situation where they are unsure if they have Covid-19, or just the flu. On top of that, our immune systems are going to need as much help as they get. Today we are going to talk more about strengthening our immune systems, ways to help ourselves avoid getting sick, and some of the similarities and differences between the flu and coronavirus that you may need to know.
The Flu and Covid-19
As respiratory illnesses, it’s no surprise that the two viruses share many similarities. It all begins with how they are transmitted, and unfortunately, they are both pretty easy to catch. Both diseases are caught through respiratory droplets that are released into the air or onto surfaces by an infected person. From there, the diseases share several symptoms, which is the main reason that it can be so difficult to discern between the two. The symptoms for both often include fever, fatigue or weakness, chills, and a dry cough, but they both may cause less common symptoms like diarrhea, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose. The flu comes with aches and pains more often, especially body and headaches. Symptoms like shortness of breath and loss of taste and/or smell are associated with Covid-19, but are rarely, if ever, associated with the flu.
Severe complications like pneumonia, myocarditis, brain damage, and damage to other organs is also possible with both diseases, especially among the elderly or individuals with chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes. Children are also at a higher risk for a severe case of the flu, but seem to be much less likely to experience a severe case of Covid. A major difference between coronavirus and the flu is when the symptoms appear. With the flu, you will usually begin to experience symptoms within a few days of exposure, while it can take up to two weeks for coronavirus symptoms to show themselves, and sometimes symptoms may not occur at all.
Currently, the biggest difference is probably how we are able to combat each of them, mostly due to how new Covid-19 is. We are very experienced at handling the flu, with vaccines and treatments that we have developed over the years that greatly reduce the impact of the flu to the point that we barely worry about it. We are still learning about how coronavirus operates, and are figuring out the best way to treat it, all while attempting to develop a vaccine.
Don’t Get Sick
The good news is that the same precautions will help prevent both diseases. Wearing masks, thoroughly washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining distance from others will reduce the likelihood of contracting either virus. If symptoms do surface, you should proceed with isolating until you are able to seek testing and medical attention.
Inevitably, not everyone is going to be successful in avoiding contact with either virus, making it a very good idea to help your immune system be as strong as possible. An easy start to strengthening your immune system is to practice healthy habits like frequent exercise, staying hydrated, and getting an adequate amount of good quality sleep. Sleep is one of the best things we can do to help our immune systems, so if sleep is something you struggle with it may be a good idea to read our blog on sleep hygiene. Stress is another factor for our immune systems, and trying to reduce the stress we endure can work wonders for preventing sickness.
Something that we cannot overlook is diet. It’s no secret that people with unhealthy diets get sick more often, both from chronic conditions and everyday diseases, so cutting out unhealthy fats and high amounts of sugar is a good start on improving immune health. From there, eating more fruits and vegetables will boost your immune system even. Making sure you get the proper nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc will not only help stop you from getting sick, they can also make it easier to recover if you do get sick. It’s a good idea to consider immune support supplements if you want to make sure you are getting enough of those key nutrients. One example of the effects they can have come from studies that have shown that taking 200mg of Vitamin C a day can reduce the duration of cold symptoms by 8%.
It’s important to remember that while physical distancing and face coverings are important in the midst of a pandemic, we shouldn’t rely on those things alone and make sure that our bodies are as prepared as possible for anything that comes our way. After all, castles were built with moats and high walls, but they also had soldiers within fighting for them as well.
If you are interested in reading more about immune health, or learning about the immune support supplements that we offer, check out our page on immune health