Cold and Flu Prevention

Feel Better

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!! Use lots of soap and water.  Here's how to wash your hands right!
  • 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.

Reader Comments

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Vitamin D works like a charm

Vitamin D works like a charm to prevent colds and flu.

This really stings...but it

This really stings...but it works. Put salt directly on a cold sore. The sting only lasts 2 minutes but it works. The cold sore is gone within a day.

Keep comfy outdoors in

Keep comfy outdoors in winter:
Important for warmth is keeping dry, even from perspiration, or exhaling into your scarf; so layering clothes that wick, and carrying spare dry socks and mitts is smart.
Clothing/boots that are tight won't allow airspace to keep you warm and may restrict your circulation.

I have found a great system with socks: I wear a pair of thin cotton first, covered in thick fluffy polypropylene, and another larger pair of cotton or wool to pull the moisture away from my skin. Fold pants under socks, roll outer sock at boot top to keep snow out.