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Stay healthy: Preventing norovirus and the flu

You know cooler weather has hit when you hear nothing but coughing and sneezing around the office, even in Florida. It can seem like everyone is taking days off work or rushing to the doctor for one illness or another. While you probably can’t take a hiatus from society for the winter, there are some realistic precautions you can take to avoid getting illnesses such as norovirus and the flu.

In order to best protect yourself from infections, you should understand what norovirus and influenza are and how they spread.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus, better known as the stomach flu, is a gastrointestinal illness. It causes symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting and comes on very quickly. It typically only lasts 1 to 3 days. It is transferred through the fecal matter, vomit, or saliva of an infected person or animal. It is very hard to get rid of, as it can withstand hot and cold temperatures, as well as chlorine.

What is influenza?

Influenza, or the “flu”, is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of influenza include sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, and fever. It generally comes on slowly, and may last for weeks. It is transferred through the air on water droplets from an infected person’s cough or saliva.

Avoid getting norovirus and influenza

If there was a way to 100% guarantee you wouldn’t get sick, everyone would be doing it. That being said, there are some precautions you can take to try to keep illnesses like norovirus and influenza away.

Wash your hands.

Be sure you are washing your hands multiple times per day. Wash your hands before you eat, before you prepare food, and after you go to the restroom.

Sanitize everything.

Along with keeping your hands clean, you should also keep surfaces such as your desk, computer, doorknobs, and other areas clean with antibacterial wipes. Also be sure to keep restrooms clean, as someone with norovirus may use it and leave their germs behind.

Moisturize your nose.

Use a nasal spray to help moisturize your nasal passages about once per day. The cold weather and the indoor heat can cause your nasal passages to dry out. When your nasal passages are dried out, they are not as effective at keeping germs out. That goes for both norovirus and influenza (and lots of other illnesses, too!)

Get your flu shot.

If you haven’t already, it isn’t too late. Go ahead and get your flu vaccine. While the flu vaccine won’t keep you from getting norovirus, it will protect you from the more serious strains of influenza.

Norovirus & Influenza Treatment in Citrus Park & Tampa, FL

If you are experiencing norovirus or influenza and believe you need medical attention, consider AFC Urgent Care Tampa. We can provide walk-in treatment for illnesses so you can get on the road to recovery quicker.