Here Comes Flu Season: 4 Tips for Staying Healthy

Passengers preparing to board United Airlines' final Boeing 747 flight.

By Paul Riegler on 18 October 2018
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Flu season is making its annual return in the northern hemisphere after a particularly bad season last year. It’s always worse for frequent travelers who are exposed to germs in small aluminum tubes hurtling through space as well as in restaurants and conference halls.

More than 80,000 people in the United States died of the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season, the highest number in well over a decade, according to health officials.

While the flu season goes into full swing in November, it’s never too early to prepare and get your shot, especially since the vaccine may take several weeks to become effective.

While it’s particularly important for those who are asthmatic, diabetic, elderly, obese, pregnant, or suffering from chronic illnesses to be vaccinated, the flu does not discriminate and you, dear reader, could be its next victim.

Here are four tips that will minimize the likelihood of contracting the flu:

1.) Get a flu shot. The vaccine not only protects you but those around you as well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over six months of age be vaccinated.

2.) Ask for the quadrivent vaccine. This four-way vaccine protects against four strains of flu, versus the standard trivalent vaccine, which protects against three. Last year’s vaccine was 35% effective against the H3N2 strain, which was the most prevalent, but it also reduced the severity in instances where the flu was contracted.

3.) Maintain simple health habits. Wash your hands frequently, including after using the W.C., after touching your nose or mouth, before touching your face, and before and after preparing food. The flu virus is airborne so protect others by covering sneezes and coughs.

4.) Stay home. If you do get sick, stay home to avoid infecting others.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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