5 Tips to Help Protect those with CF this Cold & Flu Season
It’s that wonderful time of year again - the start of cold and flu season. A cold or flu for most can be a nuisance and an inconvenience that lasts one to two weeks and the worst of it lasts just a few days. But for someone with CF it can mean months of oral and IV antibiotics, a trip to the hospital, the loss of lung function, or even fatality. Here are 5 helpful tips to help those you love with CF stay healthy:
- Wash your hands. A lot. The best defense against spreading germs and limiting contamination is by making sure your hands are clean. The cold and flu virus can live on your hands without you being infected but you can be spread through everything you touch. Don’t have a sink or soap handy? A dab of hand sanitizer will help protect you and those you love.
- Cover that cough and sneeze. Recent studies have shown that a cough or sneeze travels much farther than originally thought. Up to 200 times farther!
Also, it’s been found that certain coughs and sneezes can stay airborne long enough to enter ventilation systems, spreading them further and potentially harming more people. Try coughing into your elbow or a tissue followed by washing your hands or a quick squirt of hand sanitizer.
- Get a flu shot. When you get a flu shot you’re not only protecting yourself from severe complications of the flu but you’re also protecting those with CF or any other compromised immune system.
- If you’re sick, please stay home. Just a quick trip to the grocery store or pharmacy when you’re sick can put those of us with CF unknowingly at risk.
- Have plans with someone with CF and you’ve been sick all week or have a cold? Let your loved one with CF know you haven’t been feeling well (or if someone in your house hasn’t been well), so they can make the tough decision whether or not to keep plans. It’s not fun having to cancel plans because of such a risk but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Help us all stay healthy this cold and flu season! For more information on the dangers of germs and cystic fibrosis please visit our previous post, "Clearly Invisible : Danger."