WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Cases of the flu continue to rise across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention reports flu activity is widespread in 46 states, including North Carolina.
Thousands have died from the flu this season, including 29 children.
North Carolina reports 22 flu deaths since the season started in October.
Tom Pechar, the owner of SYNERGY Homecare of Wilmington, shared tips his staffers are using to prevent the spread of the flu among the seniors they care for and themselves:
Eat and Drink – Hydration is important! Not drinking and eating enough can lower a senior's resistance to fighting off infections.
Mind the Medication - Certain medications, such as steroids, can suppress the immune system. Chronic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis can also make it more difficult to fight off a virus.
Take Your Temperature – if seniors have a fever higher than 102 degrees, that could indicate they have the flu. Having a Thermoscan or Digital thermometer on hand will help a senior monitor their temperature.
Paper Pusher – Seniors are encouraged to use paper towels in the bathroom instead of hand towels, which can harbor germs.
Immunity Booster – Keeping vitamin C tablets or juice boxes of OJ can help build seniors' weaker immune systems.
Sanitizing Spray – Seniors should spray doorknobs, handles, and light switches, etc. at least once a week with disinfectant spray. Viruses can live up to 48 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.
Lather Up - recent studies show plain soap and water works just as well as antibacterial soaps.
Hand sanitizer/ Sanitizing wipes – these are handy to have on-the-go, whether to clean hands or public surfaces. Don't rely on just baby wipes because they do not contain the proper ingredients to kill viruses and germs.