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How to Protect Yourself Against the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the 2018-2019 flu season was the longest one we’ve had in a decade, lasting 21 weeks, affecting 42.9 million people. Here are some top tips and things you can do to avoid getting sick this flu season.

  1. Get the flu shot

The flu shot reduces your chances of getting the flu by up to 60%. Since it takes about 2 weeks to develop antibodies after the shot, it’s recommended that you get it as early as possible. Check your local pharmacy and healthcare clinics as they tend to offer financial friendly options.

2. Always wash your hands and wipe down things you touch frequently.

It can take 24 hours – 2 days for someone to show symptoms after getting infected and they can pass the infection on 5-7 days after getting sick. Plus, contrary to the 3 feet rule, the virus can easily spread 6 feet. In the workplace, at home and in public areas, you never know who is sick, who will get sick soon and who is still contagious. Wash your hands after touching any commonly touched objects or encountering people – public places in general but especially public transportation, places where you eat, bathrooms, common items such as money, your phone, your desk at work etc.

3. Avoid touching your face, specifically your mouth, nose and eyes as this is the easiest way for germs to spread. If you’re concerned, wear a face mask in public places for more protection.

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4. Store your personal items out of sight including your toothbrush, mouthwash, medications, contacts, water bottle or anything you use on your face/consume.

5. Get enough sleep and relax. Getting enough sleep will help your immune system stay strong during this flu season. In addition to fatigue, stress is also a common player in weakening the immune system.

6. Amp up your diet. Try to avoid sugar, junk food and fatty food. Instead, go for meals that include a variety of fruits and vegetables to get as many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals your immune system needs. If your lifestyle calls for convenience over a balanced diet, consider taking a supplement or multivitamin.

7. If you do get sick, avoid going anywhere except to get medical attention for up to 24 hours after your fever has naturally broken. While in public, cover your mouth and nose especially if you sneeze or cough and avoid touching anything as much as possible.