The flu will affect millions of Americans this winter. Are you getting the flu shot?
More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu, and as many as 49,000 people die from its complications. The Center for Disease Control recommends people to get a flu vaccine to prevent the flu and protect yourself from those around you.
Your local pharmacy can provide a way to get your flu shot this season, even without an appointment. Whether you choose Walgreens, Duane Reade, or other healthcare clinics, getting a flu shot is now simple, fast and convenient.
Many varieties of the flu shot are available. The newest to the market is the Flucelvax, which offers a state-of-the-art process that uses cells to make the vaccine, instead of eggs, like most traditional flu vaccines. Clinical trials have shown Flucelvax to be effective on the same flu strains and have a similar safety profile as conventional egg-based flu vaccines.
But, there are many other things you can do to stay healthy during cold and flu season.
- Wash your hands. Be sure to use soap and wash up to your elbow for at least 30 seconds. Drying should be via paper towels when possible to avoid spreading germs. Blow drying was found less effective due to shortened drying time and moisture left on the surface, which carries bacteria and germs.
- Take a sick day. Encourage people in your office or at your children’s schools to stay home when sick. If you’re running a temperature, you should be in bed resting. Sniffles and sneezes should not be shared and be conscious of using tissues, hand sanitizers, and covering your mouth with your elbow instead of your hands.
- Get more sleep. Sleep helps the body heal faster. Opt for 7-8 hours of sleep when feeling a cold coming on. Take naps when appropriate to make up for shortened sleep.
- Hydrate. You should try to drink at least one full glass of water before and after each meal, or better yet, drink water with your meal! Being optimally hydrated can help boost your immune system, and metabolism too!
- Exercise. Even if you have a cold, exercise can help reduce its intensity. Exercise helps boost the immune system, however, you shouldn’t exercise when you have a temperature, nausea, or severe headache.
No one thinks they'll get the flu, so before it hits make sure you protect yourself from it! Stay healthy and happy by taking these precautions for avoiding the flu.