With pandemic restrictions being eased, people who endured long lockdowns and were stuck inside their homes during the height of the health crisis are now deciding to travel to various destinations.
This phenomenon is called revenge travel, which is significantly heightened during the holiday season. This is the time when people pack their bags to attend family reunions, revisit favorite travel destinations, or go on splurge vacations.
Unfortunately, joy and love are not the only things that the holidays and traveling bring. Close interaction with people in crowded spaces increase your risk of contracting respiratory infections, particularly the flu.
The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which is transmitted via droplets from an infected person through coughing, talking and sneezing. You may also be infected through contact with the surfaces, material and clothing contaminated with discharges of an infected person.
The good news is you can take steps to protect yourself against the flu during your holiday travels.
Get your flu shot. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick with the flu this holiday season.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the flu vaccine at least 2 weeks before travel because it takes 2 weeks for vaccine immunity to develop after vaccination.
Getting the flu vaccine is particularly important for people at high risk of flu-related complications. These include people 65 years and older; adults with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease; and pregnant women.
Practice good health habits. Get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Wear a mask. If you are not fully vaccinated or if you have a weakened immune system, wear a mask indoors or while in a plane, train or vehicle.
Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
Book your family’s flu vaccination now by visiting https://www.vaccination.watsons.com.ph/.
References: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1195479. Accessed 14 November 2023 https://doh.gov.ph/Health-Advisory/Influenza. Accessed 14 November 2023 https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school-business/travelersfacts.htm#:~:text=People%20who%20have%20not%20gotten,risk%20of%20flu%2Drelated%20complications. Accessed 14 November 2023 https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/index.htm. Accessed 14 November 2023
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