With the height of flu season upon us, many people are looking for ways to avoid getting sick to protect the comfort and wellbeing of themselves and their families. However, beyond just keeping yourself and your own household safe, did you know that protecting yourself from the flu could actually be considered a social responsibility in some regards?
Influenza is often spread through carriers of the virus, so staying flu-free isn’t just about staying virus-free – it’s about keeping others from getting sick as well. Studying for a masters in public health online teaches you that flu prevention should be practiced by all members of society to safeguard communities from preventable flu outbreaks. With that said, here are three reasons why protecting yourself from the flu virus is practically a civic duty:
1. Protecting the Young and Elderly
First and foremost, young children and elderly adults are most vulnerable to suffering severe symptoms and complications from the flu. Thus, while you might not be too worried about coming down with a little sniffle, sore throat, and cough, it’s important to realize how important it is to avoid becoming a carrier, as you could pass it on to someone whose immune system isn’t as equipped to deal with it. Earning an MPH degree teaches you that more than 35,000 people die from the flu each year. Keep a clean conscience and don’t be a contributor to that statistic.
2. Decreasing Healthcare Burdens
Every year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to the flu. Of course, all of these patients create an additional burden on a healthcare system that is already heavily indebted. By keeping yourself from becoming a flu carrier you can do a small part in reducing the number of flu hospitalizations and medical treatments administered each year. With healthcare costs being an ongoing concern in the U.S. and other developed nations, everyone should be educated about how to reduce the incidence of the flu in their homes and neighborhoods.
3. Helping the Economy and Education Systems
Finally, did you know that every year more than 100 million workdays are missed due to the flu, resulting in a loss of income that totals about $7 billion. Thus, preventing the flu from spreading isn’t just a healthcare care concern it’s also an economic challenge as well. Furthermore, every year more than 30 million school days are missed due to the flu. By keeping yourself from carrying the flu you can avoid passing it on to co-workers and classmates, so you’ll be playing a tiny role in reducing these troublesome statistics.
Steps to Take to Avoid the Flu
Now that you’re convinced that avoiding the flu is the responsible thing to do, it’s time to take steps to safeguard yourself from the illness. Getting vaccinated, eating a healthy balanced diet, washing your hands and dressing properly in cold weather are some things that come to mind. Unfortunately, about 20 to 30 percent of people who carry the flu virus don’t have any symptoms, so hygiene and proper dress are important even when you don’t feel sick.