We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the flu shot as being part of your flu fighting kit. And don’t let the myth that the flu shot will give you the flu steer you away from the needle. It’s simply not true. “The flu shot will not give you the flu,” states Dan McGee, MD, from the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids Michigan. “Some people may experience some soreness at the injection site and low grade fever, but this is not the flu.” And, you need to get the flu shot each and every year, even if you got it last year. “Every year the influenza viruses mutate, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot,” says Dr. McGee. In response, the flu shot is reformulated every year so you can have immunity to the strains that are the most likely to hit that year.
Make disinfecting your job
Germs in public spaces are pretty obvious but germs at home may hide in places we least expect, like a shower curtain. “It is important to remove harmful germs from common areas of the home, school, or the office,” says Tanya Altman, MD, pediatrician and author. “Use a disinfectant approved to kill cold and flu viruses, like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, to wipe the surfaces touched most frequently—like doorknobs, light switches, faucets, or toys.” Washing your hands after using the bathroom and frequently during the day is a given, but Dr. Altman tells her patients and own children to also wash after playing outside or before eating. If you really want to close the doors to germ entry locations, wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep a handy variety pack of disinfecting wipes, spray and gel for those times when washing with soap and water isn’t available.