Get your seasonal influenza shot now - as in today. These are the best ways to ensure you won't contract these viruses this year.
We can't say it enough: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! "Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching objects, surfaces or another person's hands can physically remove cold viruses," Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and faculty member of NYU School of Medicine told FOXNews.com.
When water isn't available, use alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizers frequently, especially when hand washing is really not possible. If using a gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. It does not require water to work; the alcohol in it will kill hand germs. But remember that not all germicidal lotions will adequately kill cold viruses.
If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose or mouth, Bassett said. He also recommends avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes and nose. "Don't touch your face. Cold and flu are often spread by hand-to-hand contact, so avoid directly facing an individual who is coughing and sneezing." If you do sneeze into your hands, make sure you clean them, and do this EVERY time you sneeze or cough.
For individuals who are excessively stressed, some studies favor the use of daily vitamin C during the cold and flu season, Bassett said.
Limit your exposure (even brief contact) to those "sufferers," especially during the first several days of their flu symptoms.
Remind your children to practice healthy habits. And of course that means lots of hand washing, covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze and using hand sanitizers when water isn't available.
If you have flu symptoms, see your doctor immediately and do not go to work or school. Remember, a virus' germs can linger long after you feel better.
Getting the flu is never fun. So follow these simple steps to ensure you stay healthy this year