By Emmanuel Moss
With the temperature finally dropping in the UAE, it has become obvious that winter-time is around the corner. Despite the nice weather, you might have to stay indoors if you catch the flu this season. The flu season occurs from October until May, and the UAE Health Authority has advised the public to be cautious during the flu season.
The best way to avoid the flu is to wash your hands thoroughly, after touching anything in public (e.g. after the gym), especially before meals. You should wash your hands for at least 15 seconds with antibacterial soap.
You should avoid close contact with people or crowded areas.
Try not to touch your face, as germs accumulate easily on your hands when you touch objects like doorknobs or money, and when you rub your eyes or bite your nails.
The following are common symptoms of the flu: fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffed nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue. Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults.
The flu is often ignored and not considered a dangerous disease because of how common the virus is. According to the CDC, between 291,000 and 646,000 people die each year worldwide to influenza. This estimate is larger than the previous estimate of 250,000 to 500,000 and based on a robust, multinational survey. As intimidating as these numbers are, there are about 3 million to 5 million cases of the flu each year, so around 91.5% of people survive the disease.
While these symptoms can help in identifying the flu, they should only be diagnosed by a certified physician. Stay safe!