The flu and cold season is officially here.
With stuffy noses and sore throats, cold and flu can linger for days and even weeks.
The flu season doesn’t end until March with peak season starting in February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
WYDaily has compiled some information about cold and flu illnesses from the CDC and other health resources. Here’s how to avoid getting the cold or flu or if you are already sick, how to treat your symptoms so you can get back to your normal self.
- Get a flu shot — “Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations,” according to the CDC’s website. The CDC said young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older as well as people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart/lung disease are considered “high risk.”
- Avoid germs — Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use a bacterial hand rub like Purrell. This can reduce respiratory illness, like colds by 16 to 21 percent. Might want to avoid touch your eyes, nose and mouth, too. If you sneeze, throw away the tissues and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Stay away — If someone you know is sick, avoid close contact with them such as hugging, kissing or shaking hands. If you are the one who’s sick, move away from others before coughing or sneezing. “Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette; always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.”
- Plenty of fluids — If you already caught the cold or the flu, make sure you drink plenty of fluids such as water, soup or low-sugar flavored drinks, according to Healthline. Your body is fighting an illness, which uses up a lot of energy. By drinking of fluids, you can stay hydrated and let your immune system do its job.
- Rest — Nothing helps your body heal faster than getting some sleep. Because your body is busy fighting off an illness, you need to recover and there’s no better way than sleeping it off. If that doesn’t work, you can always try over the counter cold and cough medicines like DayQuil or NyQuil to treat multiple symptoms such as congestion, sore throat and headaches. Just make sure you read the labels and use the correct dosage.