How to Stay Healthy This Flu Season

Flu season officially began in October and can last as late as May, so it is very important to stay healthy during these months.

Although it is so difficult to predict how bad the upcoming season will be.  Most often, flu activity is highest during January and February, but it’s possible that different parts of the country will see flu outbreaks at different times of the season. The best time to start getting ready is early when flu activity is still very low.

Flu and colds are usually spread by droplets made when people with the flu cough or sneeze. Sometimes a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

There are manny flu vaccine choices for the 2013-2014 flu season. Most of the flu vaccine available this season are made to protect against three different flu viruses, but some flu vaccines made this year will protect against four different flu viruses.

For the standard flu shot you can also get  nasal spray flu vaccine and an intradermal flu shot (injected into the skin instead of the muscle). All of the nasal spray vaccines sold in the U.S. this year will be to help protect against he four different flu. Nasal spray vaccines are approved for people between the ages of 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

These are three key steps found to stay healthy during during flu season from “USA Health Administration”:

Step 1:  Regularly disinfect the kitchen sink, the trash can, the bathroom faucet, and the tub. They’re some of the germiest places in a home, according to studies. The champion of contamination? The kitchen sponge. Clean it in the dishwasher weekly.

Step 2:  Take a brisk walk five times a week. Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce your likelihood of catching a cold.

Step 3:  Work probiotics (a.k.a. good bacteria) into your daily diet to help your immune system ward off bad bacteria. Try yogurt, fortified drinks, or a tasty treat like the 90-calorie Attune Milk Chocolate Crisp Probiotic Bar.

Many people mistakenly believe that the flu vaccine can give you the flu.  The flu vaccine can not actually cause the flu illness.  The viruses in the vaccine are either killed or weakened, which means they can not cause infection.

The most common side effects from a flu shot are a sore arm and maybe a low fever or ashiness. “The nasal spray flu vaccine might cause congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or cough. If you do experience them at all, these side effects are mild and short-lived,” says the USA HEalth Adminastration.