Three Tips for Cold and Flu Season
It’s hard to believe it, given that the weather is still warm here in South Carolina, but cold and flu season is almost here.
Here are our three top tips for how to prepare.
1. Get Your Flu Shot
You knew we were going to say it! The flu shot is still the best way to prevent coming down with the flu this winter. If you’re wondering when to get it—the sooner the better. It will take your body about two weeks to develop the antibodies that fight off the virus.
Flu activity usually starts to rise in October and peaks in the late winter months (December through February), but it’s possible to catch the flu anytime. Get your shot today so that you’ll be protected!
How does it work?
The flu shot uses a deactivated version of the flu virus to train your body to fight it off. You cannot get the flu from a flu shot.
How long does it last?
Protection will wane over time, but should last at least six months. That’s why you have to get a new flu shot annually!
Flu shots are available at all Hawthorne Pharmacy locations without an appointment. Find a Location
2. Wash Your Hands
The other obvious thing you can do to prevent illness is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. At a minimum, you should wash your hands when you come home from being out, when your hands are visibly dirty, before you eat, and after you visit the restroom. Hand sanitizer can also come in handy for times when you don’t have access to a sink.
Note: many people don’t use enough hand sanitizer for it to be effective. Coat your hands, rub it in, and then wait for them to air dry—don’t wipe it off—to maximize effectiveness.
3. Avoid Spreading Germs
Don’t touch your face
Try to remember not to touch your face with your hands. Habits like chewing your nails or rubbing your eyes can allow germs to get into your system.
Use the Dracula technique
Remember to cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue instead of your hands.
Finally, if you’re sick, stay home! Avoid going out until your symptoms improve. If you’ve had the flu, the CDC recommends you stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.