Stay Prepared During Cold and Flu Season
Fall is here again, and so is cold and flu season. While pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters are delightful, the cold and flu season is less so. However, you can stay ahead of those pesky viruses with the proper preparation.
The common cold, influenza (flu), and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses but share many symptoms. While cold symptoms include a runny nose and sore throat, the flu and COVID-19 can cause fever, body aches, and a dry cough. The onset of symptoms varies, with cold or flu symptoms appearing 2-3 days after exposure, while COVID-19 symptoms can take up to 10-14 days. Testing for COVID and the flu can help in early diagnosis and treatment.
During this season, proper hygiene is a must! Regular handwashing is crucial. Ensure you scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after sneezing or being in crowded places. Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol when soap isn’t available. When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow. Also, regularly clean and disinfect your living space, focusing on high-touch areas like doorknobs and switches.
Be sure to maintain a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Herbal teas and warm broths can also provide hydration. Getting the right amount of sleep, 7-9 hours, also makes your body more resilient against germs.
Annual flu vaccines and COVID-19 boosters protect against prevalent strains. The CDC recommends that everyone above six months get vaccinated, with a few exceptions. Be sure to prepare for the cold and flu season with over-the-counter medications, ensure your thermometer works, and stock up on food, water, and electrolyte beverages.
If you fall sick, contact your provider immediately. Visit the emergency room for severe symptoms like chest pain or extreme shortness of breath.
Being proactive during cold and flu season can make all the difference. You can stay healthy and happy by getting vaccinated, maintaining hygiene, and practicing healthy habits.
As always, your family at Neighbors Pharmacy is here to help! Call us at 337-706-7706 or come in with any questions you may have!