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Three Things That Limit Your Risk of the Flu

Flu shot
Flu shot Photo by Hyttalo Souza on Unsplash

California-based emergency medicine physician Dr. Zachary Lutsky spent 12 years as an attending physician at a level 1 trauma center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Board-certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Zachary Lutsky maintains a professional interest in a range of public health matters, including the flu epidemic.

Whether you’ve gotten a flu shot or not, there is not 100 percent guarantee that you will be protected from the virus come flu season. However, there are several behaviors that reduce your risk of the flu. Below are a few examples:

Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
Even if you wash your hands regularly, they won’t remain clean at every point of your day. Because of this, always avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose since these are the areas of your body that most easily absorb germs. This is particularly true when you’re in a public place.

Skip the crowds
Completely isolating yourself from other people during the flu season isn’t realistic, but you should stay away from crowded places as much as possible. Crowded places, particularly places with a large number of the elderly or children, present a high risk of contracting the flu. In situations when you cannot avoid crowded spots, make sure you carry hand sanitizer and keep your distance around sneezing individuals.

Disinfect common surfaces
Computer equipment, phones, and other common surfaces at your workplace are breeding grounds for germs. To limit your exposure, make sure these areas are kept clean and disinfected, and avoid using a coworker’s phone or desk, if you can. At home, regularly clean kitchen counters, bathrooms and any other locations that come into contact with noses or mouths.

Recognizing Early Signs of Stroke


Stroke pic

For more than 10 years, Dr. Zachary Lutsky served as an attending physician in the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. During that time, Dr. Zachary Lutsky saved the lives of many patients, including a stroke victim who later returned to the hospital to thank Dr. Lutsky and the rest of the emergency department.

The early signs of stroke may be remembered by the acronym “BE FAST.” The letter “B” stands for balance. Many patients who experience a stroke suddenly lose coordination or balance before the stroke occurs. This makes it difficult for them to touch their finger to their nose and affects their ability to walk in a straight line.

The “E” stands for eyes. One of the other early signs of stroke is a rapid change in vision, such as blindness in one eye or double vision.

The symptoms represented by “FAST” are more well-known signs of stroke. “F” refers to face drooping or numbness on one side, while “A” refers to arm weakness or numbness on one side of the body.

Speech difficulties are represented by “S” and usually include slurred or unclear speech. Many people experiencing a stroke will struggle with saying “The sky is blue,” so this sentence serves as a good test.

Finally, the “T” stands for “Time to call 911.” If any of the above symptoms are shown, call 911. Callers should write down the time the symptoms started and note if any symptoms have disappeared before emergency responders arrive.