If you're trying hard to avoid colds and the flu, here are some prevention strategies to keep you healthy—short of moving to the North Pole where germs cannot survive!
- Keep current on inoculations, and ask your doctor about flu shots.
- Wash your hands often, with lots of soap and lots of water! Don't share washcloths or towels.
- Use disposable towels instead of cloth handkerchiefs. If you’re in a public restroom, shut the faucet off with a paper towel and try to push the door open with your shoulder or use the paper towel to turn the knob.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don't have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve.
- Colds are only caught from other people; during cold season, don't shake hands or touch surfaces and then bring your fingers to your nose or face.
- Don't bite your nails; it spreads germs.
- Don't share food or drinks, even a taste.
- When in doubt, hug instead of kiss, even if your heart feels otherwise!
- Drink plenty of liquids, especially fresh pure water.
- Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed early!
- Cut back on sugars and alcoholic drinks.
- Eat correctly, especially lots of fruits with high vitamin C content as well as veggies and grains which cleanse your system.
- If you can, take it easy as soon as symptoms develop.
- Stay at home if you are sick.
And here is some good old-fashioned advice from our 1852 Almanac!
"To avoid fall fevers, eat moderately, drink sparingly, lie not down on the damp earth, nor overheat yourself; but keep your temper, and change your clothes as the weather changes."
Have you heard about the Google Flu Trends tool that estimates flu activity? Get an early-warning system for outbreaks of flu in your state.