Flu Prevention Tips
As if one virus isn’t enough, flu season is here! With the focus on COVID-19, you’re probably already doing a lot of things right, but there are some differences between influenza and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to keep in mind. While the infection that can result from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can be serious, anyone who has suffered from Influenza A knows it’s no picnic either. From disinfecting to reducing stress, here are our top tips for keeping your family safer during flu season this year.
Top 10 Tips For Flu Prevention During COVID-19
Here are some flu prevention tips to keep in mind as we enter flu season this year.
1. Use An EPA-Registered Disinfectant
A product that uses the term disinfectant means that it has passed the Environmental Protection Agency’s testing and guidelines, which includes their evaluation of pathogen-kill data and assessment of risks and benefits of a product’s use. This means that, to be labeled a disinfectant, the product has to demonstrate that it can kill the germs and viruses it says it does in a set amount of time.
One way to ensure you’re disinfecting effectively is to select a product from the EPA’s List N, which lists the disinfectants that are approved for use against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
Force of Nature is an EPA-registered disinfectant approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 and can also help you disinfect your home during flu season without exposing your family to the harmful chemicals that are common in cleaning products.
2. Know The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing And Disinfecting.
They may all sound the same, but there is actually a big difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing, and the important term to look for is “disinfecting”. We break down the distinction thoroughly in this blog post. The bottom line is that each of these practices helps to reduce germs to various degrees on a surface and can be used for different applications. Both cleaning and sanitizing reduce germ count, but disinfecting reduces it to the 99.9% level. For germs like Influenza A, you’ll want to clean and then disinfect for maximum germ kill.
Fun fact: our product, Force of Nature, is an EPA-registered disinfectant that kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including the flu virus, and is EPA-approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
3. Use Your Disinfectant As Directed.
The EPA tests products for eligibility using a very specific process and “dwell time,” which is the amount of time (usually 10 minutes) that the product shows a 99.9% kill rate of the bacteria. It doesn’t mean it takes 10 minutes to kill every pathogen, just that at the end of 10 minutes, 99.9% of the full range of germs tested are dead. Because of this, it’s important to follow instructions and ensure that the disinfectant is getting sufficient time for it to kill all those bugs you want to kill, like flu germs!
Force of Nature proved in EPA-testing that it kills 99.9% of germs, including Influenza A, Staph, MRSA, Norovirus, Salmonella, and Listeria when used as directed.
4. Disinfect Safely!
One way to keep our immune systems in gear is not to exacerbate existing conditions like allergies and asthma by using cleaning products that contain irritating or dangerous chemicals. When you’re cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the flu, remember that just because a disinfectant is labeled 99.9% effective, doesn’t mean it is safe. Many conventional disinfectant and cleaning products contain chemicals that are dangerous to spray in places where your children and pets could come into contact with it, or where it can interact with your skin or airways. With Force of Nature, you don’t need to wear gloves or a face mask, because it utilizes a toxic chemical-free disinfectant called hypochlorous acid (HOCl) which is so gentle that it can be used without rinsing.
When using harsh chemicals for flu prevention, like bleach, ammonia and isopropyl alcohol, you should always wear protective gear and rinse off surfaces after applying the product.
5. Prioritize High-Touch Areas
To prevent the spread of germs in your home, disinfect high-touch areas like doorknobs, fridge handles, remote controls, gadgets and kitchen and bathroom surfaces and handles frequently.
6. Avoid Close Contact With Others
Social distancing comes in handy for avoiding contracting the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, but also for flu prevention. Keeping a distance from others when you or they are sick can help to keep you from exposure to the germs that cause the flu.
This year, more than ever, it’s important to stay home if you suspect you’re sick to help prevent exposing others.
7. Cover your nose and mouth.
Many of us are doing this constantly now by wearing a mask in public areas where we may come into close contact with others. More than just preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, we are also reducing the spread of droplets via coughs, sneezes and exhalations, which can help prevent spreading the flu, too.
It’s not just the coronavirus that is spread by droplets from our mouths and noses! Influenza A, RSV and whooping cough can be spread by sneezing or unclean hands.
8. On That Note…Wash Your Hands
The CDC says “Clean Hands Save Lives.” This simple practice is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of sickness-causing germs. This flu season, make sure you’re handwashing effectively to help keep yourself and others safe from the flu. The CDC’s SNAP toolkit has a lot of great information, with the goal of reducing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. How cool is that?
9. Reduce Stress
Physical health isn’t the only thing that matters, and in times like these, it’s more important than ever to manage our stress and anxiety to keep our immune systems healthy. Reducing stress can boost your immune system to augment the immune response, which can help you prevent the flu as well as fight symptoms and recover quickly if you do become sick.
Meditation, yoga and gratitude journals are great places to start when figuring out how to reduce stress in your life.
10. Make Time For Healthy Habits
Harvard Health suggests thinking about your immune system as just that – a system with multiple components that need to exist in harmony and balance with each other. They suggest working towards as many healthy-living strategies as possible, including: not smoking, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, drinking in moderation and getting adequate sleep.
However you choose to go about it, incorporating activities that bring you joy and time spent being mindful can help keep you healthy and are an important part of flu prevention.
We’re here to help you.
Whether it’s a global pandemic or the seasonal flu, we’re here to help you with tons of information and tips and tricks for disinfecting your home with Force of Nature. Happily, our product is a super-effective germ killer (that kills 99.9% of germs, just like bleach and Lysol, but also certified 100% skin-safe and best for sensitive skin by SkinSAFE, Mayo Clinic’s allergy rating system. It’s free from skin and respiratory irritants too. Learn more about Force of Nature, here.