Catching the Flu is Easier Than You Realize

We all know that the flu is transmitted through contact with sneezes, coughs, and other germ-laden fluids. So the best way to avoid the flu (besides getting vaccinated) is to wash your hands regularly, especially after coming in contact with a sick person or anything they came in contact with.

There’s just one problem. Recent research suggests that much less contact is required to get the flu than we realized.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that you don’t have to actually be present for any sneezing, coughing, or nose-blowing; you can contract the flu just by inhaling air that an infected person exhaled.

While pictures of people sneezing may look alarming, the researchers found that those sneezes did not contain any more flu particles than regular breath. According to the study’s senior author Dr Donald Milton, “People with flu generate infectious aerosols (fine particles of flu virus that remain in the air) even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness.”

What’s the best way to protect yourself against the flu? Did we mention vaccination? Oh yes, we did, but it bears mentioning again: get vaccinated against the flu. And if you have the flu, stay in bed. And don’t breathe on anyone.

Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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