Australia is in the midst of its worst flu season in 5 years. That might not sound like it matters to you, but it could be a precursor of things to come.
America’s flu season often mirrors what is happening in Australia, where the winter runs from April to October.
The flu makes its way around the world, so people in North America have a little bit of time to prepare. They are also lucky because they get an idea of what it might be like. And although projections cannot be 100 percent accurate, this year’s flu has officials getting ready for a potentially severe season.
According to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Disease (NFID), only 49 percent of Americans plan to get a flu shot this season. Further, only one in five people at risk of developing serious flu-related complications aren’t planning to get a shot.
It’s true that scientists don’t always get it right and that sometimes the flu shot and the actual virus aren’t a perfect match. But that doesn’t mean the shot won’t offer some benefit. Getting a vaccination will likely help protect against severe disease and complications.
If you’re 65 or over, you can get a stronger dose for even better protection.
Aside from getting the flu shot, you can take other measures to build a stronger immune system and prevent illness.
Getting enough sleep and exercise and ensuring you’re eating a nutrient-dense diet can help create more robust immunity. A colorful array of fruits and vegetables can help you get plenty of antioxidants and other important nutrients to limit inflammation.
You can also practice good hand hygiene. Washing your hands thoroughly whenever you’ve been out of your home can help reduce the risk, especially after touching high-contact surfaces like door handles or railings.
And remember, if you get the flu, stay home and keep others safe.