According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu outbreaks are common in a period between October and May. The CDC also recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first step in the prevention of the flu. Apart from a vaccine, you should also be familiar with the following.
Wash your hands
Hand washing for about 20 seconds can drastically lower the risk of catching the flu. If you cannot wash your hands with water and soap at specific situations, always use an alcohol based hand rub. Even though you regularly clean your hands, hands are known as germ factories, so avoid touching your nose and mouth during the flu season.
Light exercising can save you during the flu outbreak, as well. A moderate program of exercising include bicycling a few times a week, walking for 20-30 minutes every day, going to gym a few times a week, etc.
Exercises strengthen your immune system by removing bacteria out of lungs and airways. Physical activity can increase a number of white blood cells in the body and make them circulate more rapidly so that they can fight disease more effectively. The rise in temperature during and after exercising kills bacteria.
During the flu season, the best advice is to develop temporary OCD and sanitize everything you come in touch with. Use a good disinfectant to clean all the areas touched by a lot of people, especially at the office: doorknob, your phone, the desktop computer, pens…
Hot black, or green tea combined with lemon, a fruit packed with vitamin C can prevent cold knocking on your door. You can also breathe in steam, which stimulates the hair follicles in the nose to eliminate germs more quickly and efficiently.
If you do catch a cold, make sure you:
Have the supplies of medicines
The three most effective pain relievers are ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen. On the other hand, if you have chest congestion and you cannot cough it out, use one of the following cough syrups: an expectorant, or a suppressant. Drink more water than usual since water can help you clear congestion. Finally, the remedies for stuffy noses are saline nasal sprays and oxymetazoline nasal sprays. You should always have these remedies in your cabinet.
Dehydration is common when you are having the flu. Drink a lot of rehydrating drinks such as chicken soup, water, tea, sport-rehydrating drinks, ginger ale and flat soda. You should not drink everything that comes to your mind. Avoid milk and orange juice as they can aggravate nausea, which is a common consequence of the flu.
Eat flu-fighting food
A balanced diet is extremely important when you catch a cold. However, there are some super foods, which can especially help you. Oily fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation. Oysters are rich in zinc, another substance which can boost your immune system. Garlic, citrus fruits, anise seeds, fennel, chili peppers, mushrooms and blueberries should be on your food list, as well.
Have an urgent care facility nearby
Even though you may think the flu is a minor problem and that you will feel better after a couple of days, the flu situation may become a pretty serious problem. Especially older adults, children and pregnant women should be on the lookout. So, having 24 hour urgent care in your neighborhood is recommended.
Finally, if you get sick, stay at home and have a proper rest. Not only can you spread the germs to other people, but it will take you more days to recover.