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Flu Facts You Should Know

The “flu” is the common term for influenza, which is a viral infection that targets the respiratory system. The flu will normally be resolved on its own but severe cases can be deadly if untreated.

Flu season varies in different parts of the country and from season to season but will often occur between the months of December and May when the flu virus is most prominent.

To date, CDC estimates that this season (2018 – 2019), in the United States, the flu has caused between:

  • 6.2 million to 7.3 million flu illnesses
  • 2.9 to 3.5 million medical visits
  • 69,300 to 83,500 hospitalizations

To stay healthy this season, check out these helpful tips:

Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations can help prevent the development and spread of the flu, doctors’ visits, and potentially hospitalization.

Wash Your Hands

The flu is spread by contact, so washing your hands more often can prevent illness.

Avoid Contact with Sick People

The flu is very contagious, so avoiding contact with those infected can be an effective way to avoid illness.

Don’t Touch Your Face

The virus can enter your body through your nose, eyes, and mouth. Avoid touching your face.

Exercise Regularly

Increasing your heart rate can boost your body’s natural virus-killing cells.

Eat More Fruits & Veggies

Boost your immune system by eating more fruits and vegetables, especially those that are high phytochemicals (dark green, re or yellow fruits and vegetables).

Keep A Clean Home

Use disinfectants to clean your home. Focus particularly on the kitchen and bathroom areas.

Take Time To Relax

Stress can weaken your immune system. Strengthen your immune system with rest, sleep and relaxation; it’s vital for physical recovery!

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol disrupts your immune system. These disruptions can impair the body’s ability to defend against infection, contribute to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption, and impede recovery from tissue injury.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking (and secondhand smoke) can cause inflammatory changes in your lungs diverting your immune system from fighting infections.

How do I know if it’s a cold or the flu?

Click the following link to read our blog The Difference Between a Cold and The Flu to learn how to tell the difference plus more helpful tips!

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/current.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351725

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/influenza

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