How to prevent yourself from the flu this winter?


With the decrease in temperatures at this time of year, the flu and colds start to appear. But some measures can help ensure a healthier season.

Flu, caused by the influenza virus, is a very contagious disease that manifests itself in the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs).

How to prevent the flu this winter?

To protect ourselves from the flu this winter, it is advisable to maintain a healthy diet, including varied foods with essential nutrients according to the needs of each one. At this point the feeling of thirst decreases, but we must stay hydrated by drinking a liter and a half of water a day.

People with respiratory diseases are advised to take extra care, reviewing their medication, so that they are as controlled as possible in the winter. With children it is necessary to reinforce the clothing, especially at night, when temperatures drop even further.

What are the flu symptoms?

Sometimes we just have a cold, which has the mildest symptoms like low fever, sore throat, and a blocked nose.

When we have the flu, our lower respiratory tract is most affected, so we mainly have a high fever and cough. We may also experience muscle, joint, and headache pain. The flu can progress to a more serious infection which is pneumonia with cough with sputum, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Pneumonia is the most serious consequence of the flu, it appears when we are unable to control infection by viruses or bacteria in our respiratory tract. So we have to make sure that when we have the flu, we breathe clean air and reduce the virus load on our body with the proper treatment.

Is the flu vaccine effective?

You can always take the flu vaccine, which prevents contamination by the influenza virus but in Mozambique, influenza outbreaks are rare, not very serious, and intensify in winter (April to August). Because of this, the health system does not offer the vaccine free of charge, and we only find it in private health services.

The flu vaccine is effective but not in 100% of cases, so, no matter how much you get the vaccine, you should continue to practice preventive measures. This vaccine should be taken annually as strains of the flu virus can always vary.

How to relieve flu symptoms at home?

As soon as you start to feel symptoms, increase the consumption of liquids (water, juices, tea, soups), to keep your body hydrated, if you have a cough, take two tablespoons of honey a day to relieve the symptoms.

If you have a sore throat, you can gargle with water and salt to reduce inflammation, clearing bacteria and viruses. Ginger is also an ally, with anti-inflammatory properties, and the ability to increase body temperature, can be used to fight colds.

If your nose is blocked, inhale eucalyptus with a liter of water and 6 to 8 leaves, inhale in the steam twice a day. Move around a little to help your immune system work better, but always with a heartbeat rate below 100 per minute. If the symptoms become more severe, you should seek medical help.


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