all have had it or know someone who has, the dreaded flu that comes with flu
Flu season (as it is commonly referred to) begins in October,
peaks in December, and lasts until April and sometimes even May.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), each year, between 9.2 million and 35.5 million cases of the flu are
documented in the United States and responsible for over an estimated 140,000
hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,00 deaths.
Although some groups of people such as young children, adults
over 65 and individuals with compromised immune systems have a higher chance of
catching the flu, there are steps everyone can take to help minimize their
exposure and build up their immune system to reduce the risk of catching the flu.
Get a Flu Shot
Flu shots are designed to protect your body against the most
common strands and viruses coming in the upcoming flu season. Within a few
weeks of receiving the shot, these vaccines help your body develop antibodies
to help fight the virus that you may come in contact with.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands often and thoroughly can help reduce the risk
of exposing your body to germs. By washing your hands properly, you reduce the
risk of spreading any germs from your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth, these
are the most common ways the flu virus enters your body.
Try flu Antiviral drugs
Antiviral Flu drugs are prescription medications that reduce the
severity of the flu if taken enough in advance. When used within the first 2
days of visible symptoms, Antiviral drugs may reduce the total sick time and
even reduce some of the symptoms.
Practice Good Health Habits
Your immune system is what protects your body, so help protect
it! You can keep your immune system from working to hard by practicing good
health habits. Some good habits include; Sleeping 7-9 hours each night,
consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as exercising frequently,
all help your body protect itself against foreign viruses.
Avoiding contact all together can be difficult if you are in
close quarters but is still worth acknowledging. Since the flu virus can
be transmitted by air (sneezing or coughing) as well as touch it is best to air
on the side of caution when a friend or coworker has a tickle in their throat
or is sneezing due to what they think is “only allergies.”