It's flu season, and this year the virus that is circulating is particularly bad.
People, both young and old, are dying from it. When you travel, you might be at higher risk for contracting the flu and other illnesses, due to fatigue and stress (which weaken your immune system), being in closer quarters with more people than you might typically be (more opportunities for someone to give it to you), and exposure to surfaces that virus can live on.
Still, becoming infected with the flu and other illnesses is avoidable! Here are a few tips for living your best and healthiest life while on vacation:
- Get the flu shot. This is a no-brainer. The flu shot changes every year (scientists try to predict which strains of the virus are most likely to circulate and then develop the immunization based on this prediction) and this year's flu shot isn't fantastic but still, some immunity is better than none! Even if you aren't traveling, you should still get the flu shot because by reducing your risk for the flu, you are helping those around you who are more vulnerable, like older adults and children. Think of it as community service: if you do all you can to avoiding being sick, then you are less likely to get sick and in turn get someone else sick, and you reduce the likelihood that you will get someone sick who could become severely ill, or die.
- Rest up and take your vitamins to strengthen your immune system. This way your immune system can be in tip top shape and hopefully do a better job of fighting the virus if you come in contact with it. I like to take emergen-c for a few days before I travel; you have to figure what works for you!
- Wash your hands and be aware of surfaces you come in contact with. Washing your hands correctly and frequently can minimize the changes that you will infect yourself by unknowingly touching your mouth or nose. I like to wipe the seat back tray table and armrests with Clorox wipes as soon as I sit down.
Flu is thought to be mainly spread through aerosols (droplets in the air that occur when a person sneezes or coughs) which are sometimes unavoidable. If you are really gung-ho about preventing flu you can wear a mask, just be prepared for some major side eyes.
Wishing you healthy travels!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the article are my own. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.