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Cold & Flu

According to USA Today, health care providers are anticipating a “nasty flu season,” particularly for children. Colds and influenza are common seasonal illnesses that annually affect millions of people. But, do you know the difference between the two? Below is a chart, provided by WebMD, which gives a brief overview of cold and flu symptoms:

 

Cold and Flu

Peak season for cold and influenza tends to begin in December and go through February. As the holidays approach, the last thing you should be concerned with is a hindering cold or the threat of the flu entering your household.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the flu vaccine as the key method to take in protecting yourself against flu viruses. Because it takes two weeks for one’s body to build immunity to certain flu strands, it is recommended that anyone six months of age or older receive the vaccine yearly, as soon as it is available to the public.

The flu vaccine is not the only measure you can take to ensure you are healthy for the holidays. There are also prevention tips that you can practice to ward off both the cold and flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, rubbing them together for at least 20 seconds. Sneeze and cough into a tissue rather than your hands to avoid spreading germs.
  • Avoid frigid winter temperatures when possible, and stay warm and dry.
  • Maintain a positive work, home and life balance -- don’t let holiday stress get to you.
  • Continue to practice moderation in your diet -- avoid excess holiday food and drink temptations -- and indulge in immune-boosting foods, like fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay regular with your exercise routine. When you have to skip your go-to workout, dance to holiday music as an alternative way to burn calories without breaking too much of a sweat.
  • Get a good night of sleep. Repeat. Rest more as needed.
  • Hydrate to keep your respiratory tract moist, and protect against germs.
  • Sanitize EVERYTHING. Your hands, doorknobs, workspace, etc. to reduce spreading germs further.
  • STAY HOME if you experience any cold- or flu-like symptoms -- don’t chance affecting others.

The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of your family and friends, be grateful and reflect. Don’t let getting sick interfere with your time of celebration -- show your appreciation for the gift of health this year by doing what you can to stay cold- and flu-free.

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