Staying healthy during cold and flu season Health & Wellness

Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

The season of giving is upon us, but we aren’t only referring to the holidays. It is also the highly contagious cold and flu season. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu usually peaks between December and February. Focus on spreading joy rather than germs; discover the difference in symptoms of the cold and flu and how you can prevent getting sick this winter.

Cold and Flu Symptoms 

Cold and flu are contagious viruses that cannot be treated with antibiotics. Usually the common cold is less serious than influenza. Learn the symptoms to distinguish between the two.

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Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Low fever
  • Mild cough
  • Watery eyes
  • Aches
  • Headache
  • Mild fatigue
  • Chills
  • Yellow or green discharge from the nose 

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Severe aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat (sometimes) 

Preventing Illness

The first and most important defense against the flu is getting this year’s vaccine. Visit a flu vaccination provider to receive a flu shot or nasal-spray vaccine. Learn the facts about flu shots, and find out how important it is for you to get one. 

The next prevention steps include ways to stop the virus before it enters your body. Follow these tips to decrease your chances of getting sick.

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are often touched, like doorknobs, phones, and light switches.
  • Increase the humidity level in your home.
  • Get plenty of sleep, fluids, and nutrients.

Since the viruses spread through the air and by contact, it is difficult to completely prevent them from entering your body. People can even spread the flu to others before they experience the first symptoms themselves. This is why receiving the immunization is important.

All of us at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group The Woodlands wish you a safe and healthy winter!

Sources: CHI St. Luke's Knowledge Base 

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