During flu seasons, people already suffering from a disease that attacks the immune system, such as mesothelioma, should take extra precautions. Since they are more susceptible to pathogens, they have a higher chance of getting sick. The greater the risk, the greater complications and symptoms of weakness they demonstrate. Even a common illness like the flu can pose a serious threat to their health and the people surrounding them. To prevent such a catastrophe, the following steps can help immune-compromised people avoid flu.
Why do Mesothelioma Patients need to Protect Themselves?
Mesothelioma patients are at high risk of contracting the flu and suffering from serious complications. In light of how mesothelioma affects respiratory passages and how chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, patients with mesothelioma need to be extra careful. If not taken care of, something simple like flu can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis and other fatal diseases.
Listed below are some guidelines on how mesothelioma patients can protect themselves from the flu this season.
- Get a Flu Shot
Flu shots are vaccines that contain dead or weakened virus particles. Injection of these vaccines triggers the production of antibodies in the body that helps protect it from the virus. While flu shots have been a source of concern for cancer patients for several years, recent studies concluded that they are safe. Now doctors all over the world are highly recommending mesothelioma patients to get regular flu shots.
While getting a flu shot may not completely eliminate the risk of contracting flu but it will lower the severity of the symptoms presented. If you plan on getting a flu shot, it is important to talk to your doctor about the dosages, frequency and type of vaccine. Since each patient has a different course of treatment and prognosis, the type of vaccine will differ for each individual. Talk to your doctor to find out which flu shot would be most appropriate for you based on your medical history and therapy plan.
- Practice Precaution
Surely you’ve heard of the saying “precaution is better than the cure”. In general, it suggests trying to prevent something rather than cure it is better. The flu is no exception. Patients with mesothelioma can take precautions against the flu by constantly washing their hands, avoiding touching their faces, and staying away from those who have the flu. Additionally, other health measures such as covering the face when sneezing and coughing should be adopted. Caretakers must also adhere to the same rules so that they do not act as vectors for the virus.
- Keep Your Surroundings Clean
Keeping your surroundings clean is a proven way to keep germs at bay. Aside from ensuring waste is disposed of properly, extra precautions should also be taken to maintain a germ-free environment.
To eliminate the risk of virus spread, it is highly recommended to clean all surfaces and objects with a disinfectant solution. Ultimately, this will reduce the number of pathogens on the surface and decrease the risk of infection. It’s especially important to disinfect surfaces when someone in the surrounding already has the flu.
Disposing of tissues and gloves in a safe manner can also be helpful in preventing contamination. Moreover, if you don’t properly clean common contact points like light switches, doorknobs, and bathroom handles, you run the risk of spreading germs.
- Protecting in case you contract the flu
Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, one may still contract the flu. A situation like this requires us to take immediate actions to mitigate the symptoms and prevent the flu from turning into something serious. Watch out for common flu-like symptoms that you can look for, including coughing, sneezing, congestion in the throat etc.
Your immediate action should be to contact your physician and provide them with a detailed overview of your whereabouts. You can either speak to a mesothelioma specialist or a family doctor you trust.
The physician will is most likely to prescribe you a treatment best suited to your needs. Follow the plan religiously, along with taking herbal and home remedies. Natural supplements like ginger, turmeric, or herbs can significantly ease the condition.
You may also need to stay away from loved ones if you suspect flu. Moreover, refrain from going out until it’s been a week since the termination of the fever. It can be challenging to take care of your health on your own, but you should also make sure that the health of those close to you is taken care of.
- Taking Care of Your Diet
Some foods are proven to be very effective in treating those suffering from the flu. Patients with mesothelioma generally eat less when they’re sick, as their appetites are significantly diminished. However, it is essential to eat the right kinds of food so that enough energy can be sustained to fight off the flu. Normally, patients with mesothelioma are already assigned a set diet plan that typically consists of lean meat, fruits and vegetables in appropriate proportions.
However, if a loved one has contracted flu and doesn’t have a set diet plan, help by making some changes to their diet. Even though these changes may not eliminate the flu completely, they can help ease its symptoms.
If you contract the flu, you should increase your vitamin C intake and drink a lot of water. Citrus fruits like oranges and limes contain a lot of vitamin C, which helps the body recover quickly. Broth, soups, greens, and certain teas are other foods that can help.
An illness like cancer can make recovering from the flu even more challenging than it is with the flu in general. Cancer already weakens a person’s immune system, making it harder to combat it. This is why mesothelioma patients need to take extra precautions during flu season. It is essential to take steps to prevent getting the flu in the first place. If you do catch it, you must also appropriately manage it. Using the tips in this article, you or your loved ones can protect themselves effectively from the flu.