Preparing for Flu Season
Autumn is here; a season of cooler weather and falling leaves (some parts of the country more than others, of course).
As we are all acutely aware, autumn is unfortunately also the start of flu season, which typically lasts from October to March. This year, flu season is coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more important than ever to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy.
I wanted to touch on a few things Clorox is doing this year to help ward off these cold and flu viruses. Because many Americans may find access to flu vaccinations more difficult this year due to the pandemic, Clorox is partnering with Direct Relief, Visiting Nurses Association of America, and Families Fighting Flu to provide access to flu vaccines and spread awareness this cold & flu season.
What Are Symptoms of the Flu?
The flu is an easy-to-spread viral infection with symptoms including high fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, aches, and fatigue. While symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar, according to the CDC, potential symptoms of COVID-19 that differ from the flu are the changes in or loss of taste and/or smell. Additionally, it’s important to note that if a person has COVID-19, it could take them longer to develop symptoms than if they have the flu.
For most, the flu is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but for some, it’s worse than that. Unfortunately, it took a horrific tragedy to bring attention to the seriousness of the flu virus. Richard Kanowitz, founder of Families Fighting Flu, experienced this first-hand: In 2004, his four-year-old daughter Amanda died suddenly from complications due to the flu. He started the organization to fight back against this virus and hopefully prevent any further tragedies.
Throughout October, the Visiting Nurses Association of America will be administering flu vaccines and distributing prevention tips to children and their parents at events across the nation. Please look for and take advantage of this great program.
Flu season doesn’t have much to do with laundry, but since this is such a great cause – I wanted to make sure you all heard about it. Here are a few tips you can use this season to stay healthy:
Practicing Good Habits
- Sing & Scrub: Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, the same amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
- Do the Elbow Cough: Teach your kids to cough into their elbows, not their hands where they are much more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.
- Disinfect Hot Spots: In a mere 30 minutes, people can touch up to 300 different surfaces. From doorknobs and light switches, to faucets and toys, be sure to clean these frequently touched “hot spots” to kill flu viruses.
- Follow Good Health Guidelines: Throughout this flu season, be sure to eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep to boost your body’s immune system and its ability to ward off the effects of the flu. Stay home if you recently had close contact with a person who is experiencing flu and COVID-19 symptoms or is confirmed to have either illness.
- Social Distance: Whenever possible, maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others. The CDC also recommends wearing a mask in public settings, around people who don’t live in your household, and when you can’t stay six feet away from others.