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9 Tips for Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of the year again where sneezing, sniffling and coughing have become the daily symphony throughout schools, workplaces and every other public area. From December to February, Cold and Flu season reaches its peak due to the mix of cold weather and increased contact of people confined to the indoors. Annually, about 5-20% of the US population contracts the flu with an average of 200,000 of those requiring hospitalization. Having a cold or the Flu can be a big inconvenience and downright miserable causing many to miss work, school and other important events. The following list of tips can be used to help stop the spread of germs and illnesses this season.

1. Keep your hands clean.

Wash hands using antibacterial soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (Happy Birthday song twice) as much as possible especially before meals. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer to kill germs.

2. Disinfect frequently used items.

Things like door handles, cell phones, computer equipment and other hard surfaces can build up in bacterial and germs.

3. Avoid close contact.

Avoid contact close contact with anyone who may be or has been sick recently as they may still be contagious.

4. Avoid touching your eyes, ears, mouth, or nose.

5. If you are sick, stay home.

It is best to stay home until symptoms have been gone and a fever has been broken for 24 hours.

6. Use a humidifier.

7. Practice healthy habits.

It is important to support your immune system by getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious food, drinking lots of fluids and staying active.

8. Get vaccinated.

Children, expecting mothers, the elderly and the chronically ill should especially be vaccinated.

9. Better safe than sorry.

If you think you may have a cold or the flu, it’s best to be checked out by a doctor as it can lead to more health complications such as pneumonia

Following these tips and guidelines will greatly reduce the chances of catching a cold or flu this season and throughout the year as well. Should you somehow catch a cold or the flu, the best thing to do is to be in contact with employers or school administrators and take care of yourself to get back to good health.

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