Cold and flu season is upon us! In the United States, peak cold and flu season are generally from late November through March. Since we are entering the peak season, how do you prevent your family from getting sick?
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine. Along with the flu shot, practicing good health habits can also keep germs from spreading and will help you prevent catching a cold as well. Below are a few ways to keep you and your family healthy this season.
- Wash your hands
Washing your hands frequently is a simple, yet effective way to protect yourself from germs. Hot water and soap are recommended, but if those items are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol will also help prevent germs.
- Cover your mouth
If you a cough or sneeze, covering your mouth or nose will prevent germs from spreading and causing others to get sick. Use a tissue so that the germs do not reside on your hands.
Disinfect surfaces in your home, your workplace and any other areas you frequently touch, especially if someone around you is ill.
Symptoms: Cold vs. Flu
Even with preventative measures, it is still possible to get sick this season. Although the flu is more serious than a cold and comes with worse symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish which one you may be suffering from. Since cold and flu share many of the same symptoms, a doctor may be the only one able to tell which one you have based on a special test. Below is a list of symptoms for both a cold and the flu:
- A cough
- A sore throat
- A runny nose (more common in a cold)
- Muscle aches
- A headache
If you develop any of these symptoms, it is best to visit a medical provider to determine if you have the flu. Visit http://americanfamilycare.com to find a location near you! At AFC, we are committed to serving the needs of our patients with consistency, compassion, and communication.