How to steer clear of the flu this season
By Brittany Anas
With fall finally here, there’s so much fun to put on your family’s to-do list: Apple picking, pumpkin carving, Halloween costume shopping. Hayride anyone?
Getting knocked out by the flu is definitely not on the fall fun bucket list.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is reminding us that flu season is coming up. Womp, womp. Last year, flu season came unusually early with higher-than-normal flu cases being reported in late November and early December in several states. Several schools in Tennessee, for example, were forced to shut down for a week because so many teachers and students were home sick with the flu.
Here’s your strategy for ducking and dodging flu season like a seasoned pro this year.
- Get vaccinated. This is your best defense against the flu. The CDC says manufacturers have already shipped out the flu vaccines for the 2013-14 U.S. season. Upwards of 139 million doses of the vaccine are being produced. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine, ideally by October, warns the CDC. If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.
- Stock up your office with disinfectants. Every office has “that guy.” He insists on coming in and sneezing all over your shared work space. Tell that guy to go home and quarantine himself, of course. Then wipe down your desk. We suggest loading up on disinfectants, like Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer before flu season arrives. Just order from Staples, have the supplies delivered to your office and accept the applause from your office “health and safety” team. (Get 4 percent Cash Back at Staples from ShopAtHome.com).
- Boost your immune system. Have a plan to stay healthy this winter. Get in the habit of sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night. Get some zinc in your system. It’s a known immune booster and can be found in foods like spinach, pumpkin and squash seeds, mushrooms, cashews, and, yes, chocolate.
- Check the flu forecast: Kleenex has a new cold and flu forecast tool this year. The forecasting model mines data from the CDC to show a three-week cold and flu forecast.
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