Fall and winter seasons can bring many great things: changing weather, football, and special holidays. But for many, the change in season could mean a change in health when they catch the flu. Flu season in the United States begins as early October and can linger until May.
People with health ailments like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease are at a greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu, the CDC says. Those older than 65 are also at greater risk of serious complications. Make sure you’re not underestimating the flu this year – there are millions of cases every year.
But you can be prepared for this flu season. Follow these simple steps from the CDC to fight the flu this season.
1. Get a flu shot
If you only follow one of these recommendations, let it be this one. The CDC says flu shots are the best way to protect against the virus. Wondering where you can get a flu vaccine? Click here to access the Health Map Vaccine Finder and find a provider near you.
2. Avoid contact with flu carriers
Visiting someone that’s feeling under the weather can be a nice gesture, but it’s not always the smart thing to do. Someone that has contracted the flu virus can transmit it to another person up to six feet away, the CDC says. If you’re not responsible for caring for a flu recipient, avoid contact for up to a week after their symptoms appear. An airborne disease like the flu must be respected. Show support for a sick loved one with a call, text, or digital video chat through Facetime or Skype.
3. Take care of those restless hands
Quick – how many times do you touch your face every day? Do you have a number in mind? Face touching (rubbing your eyes; wiping your nose) is a habit for both children and adults. This personal hand-to-face interaction is a common way that germs on fingers enter the body. You already know the simple solution problem: wash your hands. But a secondary solution involves taking an inventory of how much face touching you do and if any of it can be avoided.
Visit the CDC website for more facts and FAQs about the 2015 flu season. Do you have any advice for staying healthy during flu season?