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All About the Flu and How to Prevent it

The end of November is just around the corner and this means that the flu season is upon us. Even if your plans comprised of staying at home, in your bed wearing your PJs, you will still need to adopt practical ways in order to keep yourself safe and avoid getting the flu. The flu caused by the influenza virus is an extremely contagious respiratory illness that sends Americans into a panic mode every winter.

Within the United States, the flu season starts from October, peaks somewhere between December to February, and can last as late as May to June. As the symptoms of flu: Fever, Runny nose, Body aches, Coughing, Fatigue, Sore throat.

Are all super close to that of COVID-19, controlling the spread of the flu has now become more important than ever.

According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 35.5 million people suffered from the flu during the 2018- 2019 flu season, resulting in an estimated 34,000 deaths.

In this article, we will explore some of the ways you can apply to avoid catching the flu and any other viral infection during this flu season:

Get Your Flu Shot

A seasonal flu shot gives protection against at least three to four kinds of viruses that medical researchers say will predominate during a particular flu season. The CDC advocates getting a flu shot in the month of September or October, but you can get one at any time of the season. To get your flu shot in your upper arm, you need to go to your physician’s pharmacy or office. If you are staying near New Jersey area, you may visit Dr. Adil Manzoor, one of the most renowned, expert Direct Primary Care Physicians of New Jersey. Anyone older than 6 months can get the flu vaccination. Every year, the vaccine reduces the number of infections to a large extent and saves lives.

Boost Your Immune System

Consuming an immune system boosting diet goes a long way during the flu season. Include antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and blueberries, in your daily diet to strengthen your body’s inner shield against the flu. Focus on fermented probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt, and kefir that can buildup the immune system through nourishing the gut. Strategies other than eating antioxidant-rich produce that can benefit the whole body: Exercising moderately to frequently Maintaining a moderate BMI Monitoring and reducing stress and anxiety levels Getting ample sleep 7–9 hours each night

Adopt Good Hygiene Habits

Like an all-inclusive balanced diet, practicing good hygiene habits are a must to defend yourself against the flu. It is extremely contagious, can spread easily to someone standing within 6 feet, through droplets produced while sneezing, coughing, or even talking, or by touching a contaminated surface. These facts further emphasize the necessity of practicing good hygiene at home, workplaces, and public areas, as soon as you start experiencing the flu symptoms. Given below are a few simple steps that can help minimize the spread of flu and other respiratory viruses: Avoid crowds and close contact with others Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue while sneezing or coughing, and wear a mask Keep your hands clean by washing them often, use sanitizers Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth often Keep your toothbrush at a separate place Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly Maintain distance at least six feet from others

From a 2012 research-study, it was found that wearing surgical masks and practicing good hygiene reduced the spread of flu symptoms upto 75 to 80% in university dorms.