Tips for Preventing Illness This Cold Season

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The new year is often met with resolutions and illnesses. There tends to be a spike in illness, likely caused by the fact that many people are traveling and visiting with numerous family members over the holiday season. Children are returning to school, further spreading these germs. Germ sanitization and extra precautions during this commonly ill time are more important than ever. As you return to your busy work and school schedules, keep these health factors in mind to prevent illness spreading throughout your house.

Wash your hands often Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways in preventing the spread of illness. You come into contact with many germ infested surfaces every single day. When you touch additional surfaces, or worse, your face and mouth, you are spreading those germs. Wash your hands frequently, even more so this month. Encourage your children to do the same. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on you at all times when you are unable to wash.

Stay home when ill Many people push through illness to complete work or school tasks. This, however, can be a mistake. When you choose to go to work, despite your illness, you are spreading that same sickness to all of your coworkers. This drastically reduces work productivity and increases the amount of sick days that are taken. Give yourself a few days to recover from an illness. Keep your children home from school when they are feeling ill.

Get vaccinations Some vaccinations can prevent illness. There is a flu shot that can prevent you from getting many strains of the flu. These vaccinations not only protect you and your family from this illness, they also protect you from spreading those germs onto others. Discuss the possibility of vaccinations with you primary physician and see if they are right for you and your family. Some vaccinations can even be administered at your local timely primary medical care center or family urgent care center.

Know when to see a physician Not all colds and illnesses require a physician?s visit. However, some do. Medications for illnesses that are bacterial can be cured, preventing you from passing on those harmful bacteria germs. If your illness persists for many days, consider visiting your physician. If you are unable to get into your physician, visit your local timely primary medical care center. Most timely primary medical care centers have qualified nurses and physicians who can distinguish between the different types of illnesses.

Avoid emergency care centers, if possible Unless you are experiencing an emergency, attempt to avoid emergency centers for minor cold and flu symptoms. Visiting your local emergency department for a minor cold takes up the time and resources of the physicians, not allowing them to handle more life threatening of emergencies. Timely primary medical care centers were actually developed for this purpose. They offer a convenient medical treatment that is similar to your family medicine setting, but in a more convenient method.

A 2009 RAND Corp. study reported 14 to 27% of emergency department visits could be handled by Urgent Care centers or retail clinics, saving up to $4.4 billion a year in health costs. With roughly 60% of all urgent care centers having a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid level provider, and 65% having a physician on site at all times, there is simply no reason to visit the emergency department for cold and flu symptoms.

The new year is upon us, as is cold and flu season. You will notice an increase of illness of those around you. Prevent obtaining one of the illnesses by washing your hands frequently, using sanitizer, staying at home when sick, getting your vaccinations, and knowing when to see a physician. When physician care is needed for your symptoms, consider an urgent care center. A physician or a group of physicians owns approximately 50% of urgent care centers. You will find them to be timelier and more cost affordable than your local emergency department.

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