North Santa Rosa

Top Ways to Avoid the Flu

PENSACOLA, Fla. (March 23, 2012) – Influenza causes more than 200,000 people in the U.S. to be hospitalized every year and about 36,000 die from flu-related causes. Prevention is extremely important.

The expert internal medicine and family medicine physicians of Baptist Medical Group share these tips on how to avoid the flu this season and keep the greater Pensacola community healthier. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Wash your hands 
Germs can live on surfaces for a lot longer than we would like to think, some up to two hours. “Proper hand washing is vital in preventing the spread of infection,” informs Mark Thiele, a board certified family medicine physician at Baptist Medical Park – Nine Mile.

Dr. Thiele encourages patients to follow these easy steps to ensure proper hand washing: Wet hands with warm water. Using an antibacterial soap, lather your hands well, making sure to include all surfaces including wrists, palms, back of your hands, fingers and under your fingernails. Be sure to rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands with clean water and dry them completely with a clean towel.

Cover the cough 
When you feel the need to cough or even sneeze, practice good manners and good health by coughing into your elbow or sleeve or into a tissue to prevent the wide spread of germs. “Simply covering your cough helps lessen the spread of disease,” confirms board certified internal medicine physician Sangeeta Patil, M.D., in North Hill. Dr. Patil also recommends you avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouths and avoid interaction with those who have fallen ill, as it helps prevent the spread of germs and illness.

Get a flu shot 
The flu shot is an excellent, safe way to help you prevent contracting the flu, says board certified family medicine physician Josh Davis, M.D. “The flu shot is relatively low cost, easy to get and known to be effective in preventing certain strains of the virus. I recommend all high-risk patients such as youth and elderly get a flu shot,” says Dr. Davis. It’s also key to understand that flu viruses change, so annual shots help ensure your protected against the latest strains.

Make healthy choices 
Living a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating healthy foods can help you not get bogged down by the cold or flu. “General healthy eating and healthy living habits like exercise help strengthen your immune system, keeping some illnesses like the flu at bay,” states Logan Richards, M.D., internal medicine physician in Gulf Breeze. “Drink plenty of water and eat your fruits and vegetables. Also try to get plenty of sleep and 30 minutes of exercise a day whenever possible.”

Seek care 
If you do find yourself or a loved one feeling ill, seek care. Urgent care physician Richard Russo, M.D., explains, “Seeking care of a physician is always recommended when you or a family member feels ill. If your primary care physician’s office is closed, consider visiting an urgent care center or family medicine practice that offers urgent care or walk-in services.” Many urgent care and walk-in care centers serve the greater Pensacola area, including Baptist Walk-In Care on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola and on Navarre Parkway in Navarre.

Posted by on Mar 26 2012. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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