LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov 15, 2013) — The flu is not a necessary consequence with the arrival of winter; it is possible to reduce your risk. To avoid getting sick, follow these five ways UK HealthCare and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend to stay healthy:
♦ Get a flu shot: UK HealthCare says the best time to get a flu shot is when it first becomes available in your area. But getting the vaccination later is better than not getting it at all. Young people, those 65 and older, and the frequently ill are most at risk for the seasonal flu. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for anyone six months of age and older.
♦ Wash your hands: Cold and seasonal flu viruses are spread through a sick person coughing, sneezing or talking. The airborne virus enters through the nose, mouth or hands after touching a contaminated object. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water is best for keeping the virus off your hands. If you don’t have access to soap and water, keep an alcohol-based cleanser with you.
♦ Dispose of tissues: Once you have used a tissue, make sure to throw it away.
♦ Avoid contact: Stay away from those who are suffering from the virus. If you find yourself getting sick, stay at home to avoid spreading the illness. When you cough or sneeze, make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve.
♦ Practice good health: Getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious foods are key factors in fighting off the flu, the CDC says.