What You Should Know About This Year’s Flu Season
In the United States, influenza (flu) season lasts from October through May, with peak flu activity happening between December and March. The country’s flu activity has been unusual since the COVID-19 pandemic began, which could pose consequences for the upcoming season.
Additionally, flu season in the Southern Hemisphere may indicate what’s to come in the United States. Notably, Australia has been experiencing an unusual surge in flu activity early in the season. Health experts warn that the same could happen in the United States later this year.
How to Stay Healthy
The flu can cause significant complications for people of any age, but the elderly and children are particularlly vulnerable. To help keep your household healthy this flu season, consider the following suggestions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and keep away from others when you feel unwell. Since flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, doctors say it’s best to get tested to know what you have.
- Get the flu vaccine. Being vaccinated against the flu is your best chance of preventing the illness. The CDC recommends that anyone age 6 months and older get a flu shot annually.
- Get quality sleep, stay active and drink plenty of water to keep your immune system strong.
- Eat a nutritious diet rich in healthy grains, fiber, vegetables and fruit.
- Wash your hands often, using soap and warm water to protect against germs. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent the spread of germs.
September and October are the best months to get vaccinated against the flu, so don’t delay getting your shot. Contact your doctor today to learn more about vaccines.
What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet?
According to a Walgreens survey, the average American opens their medicine cabinet 468 times each year. However, nearly 3 in 4 people (74%) admit that they often forget to replace their expired products. When it comes to handling illnesses or injuries in your home, it’s essential to be prepared with a well-stocked and up-to-date medicine cabinet. That way, you’ll be able to respond quickly to help yourself or others when accidents occur.
As the seasons change, now is a great time to check the expiration dates of medicine cabinet items and refresh them as needed. It’s also important to make sure you have any cold- and flu-related items on hand. Check out the list below for medicine cabinet essentials, and make it a habit to check expiration dates every three months so that you are always prepared.
- Painkillers and fever reducers
- Oral antihistamines
- Instant cold and hot compresses
- Bandages of assorted sizes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Cough medicine and decongestants
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Hydrogen peroxide
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.
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