Flu Season Starts Early, How to Avoid Getting Sick


In 2011, the flu season entered full swing in mid-February. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have already received confirmed reports of the influenza virus across 48 states and in Puerto Rico at the end of December. Flu season has begun earlier this year than in the past ten years, and cases are on the rise at a rapid pace. Officials fear that this may signal a difficult year for those susceptible to the virus. Several schools have closed because of widespread infection across the Midwest and in Tennessee. However, there is still an abundance of flu vaccine for anyone who has put off getting it thus far. The CDC recommends six more tricks to stay healthy this holiday season and beyond.

  1. Keep your distance from sick people: This includes your family, significant other, and the person coughing next to you on the subway. If you must have close contact, do not touch your face until you have washed your hands thoroughly.
  2. Use those sick days: Your boss will thank you when she is spared fever, body aches, and cough. You should always stay home sick when you can’t avoid frequent trips to the bathroom, have achy joints, no appetite, or your body is producing green mucus, all sure signs of infection.
  3. Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue: This prevents transfer of germs to innocent bystanders or the next thing you touch when you cough into your hand.
  4. Wash your hands whenever you can: Use instant hand sanitizer, and old fashioned soap and water at every opportunity. Wash for at least 20 seconds with antibacterial soap between fingers, backs of hands, and under nails. Dry your hands thoroughly with a disposable cloth or dryer.
  5. Avoid touching your face: The most common way people are infected with the flu is touching a contaminated surface, and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth and transmitting the infection there.
  6. Act Healthy to Be Healthy: Sleep enough, be physically active, eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet, drink lots of water, and keep stress levels low and you’ll have a better chance of fighting off any bugs that come your way.

Source courtesy of Women’s Health Magazine Blog. Image courtesy of Weather.com.

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