During cold and flu season–typically in the winter months–people of all ages often catch viruses responsible for these acute respiratory infections. While fairly harmless to most healthy people, both illnesses can cause serious complications, particularly in children, the elderly, and the immuno compromised.
Concerned about yourself or a family member? Here’s what your friends at EMC Express Care recommend to prevent a cold or flu from striking.
1. Practice Good Handwashing
Cold and flu viruses come in many forms. All are highly contagious through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person. Cold and flu viruses live on hard and soft surfaces, such as counter tops, keyboards, and handrails. When you touch such surfaces and then touch your own mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), you give the microbes easy entry into your system.
This is why practicing good hand washing and teaching it to your kids and other family members is so important. Washing frequently and thoroughly, especially after being out in public, reduces the chance of cold and flu transmission.
Use warm water and a mild, antibacterial soap for about 20 seconds, lacing your fingers and gently rubbing all hand surfaces. Rinse with clear water, and dry with a clean towel.
2. Stay Well-Hydrated and Eat a Healthy Diet
Both of these improve your body’s natural defenses against disease. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables–especially dark green, leafy ones–contain lots of vitamin C, nature’s own immunity booster.
Natural supplements can also increase your ability to combat acute illnesses. Evidence shows that vitamins C and D stave off upper respiratory infections, as do garlic, elderberry, zinc, and probiotics. Ask your PCP or a dietician/nutritionist for recommendations on which supplements to take and in what dosages.
Additionally, drink plenty of water daily–one ounce per pound of body weight, if possible. Water flushes out toxins, helps with blood circulation, and improves the way the body works.
3. Protect Yourself With The Flu Vaccine
While there is no vaccine against the common cold (there are hundreds of rhinovirus stains that cause it), the flu vaccine is readily available through your PCP, local walk-in clinics, and at pharmacies and hospitals. Get the flu shot annually, as each year’s formulation is different. The flu vaccine doesn’t make you immune to the flu, but it lessens the degree of your sickness, should you get the illness. This means you will be less sick and for a lot less longer than if you didn’t get the flu vaccine.
Cold and Flu Care in Fort Worth, TX
The experts at EMC Express Care in Fort Worth, TX frequently diagnose and treat patients with colds and the flu. Whether you need a flu shot, tips on protecting yourself from these illnesses, or if you are sick and need treatment, we can certainly help.
For more information, call EMC Express Care at (817) 503-8800. You never need an appointment, so come on in whenever you need medical care!