Not getting your flu shot
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The flu shot is one of the most potent tools in your arsenal toward heading off illness—and even if the vaccine doesn’t entirely head off a bout of flu, it helps minimize its effects. “Taking cold and flu season seriously means starting with prevention,” says Ian Tong, MD, chief medical officer at Doctor On Demand. “The flu shot helps your system get a head start.” This is the real difference between the cold and the flu.
Not drinking enough fluids
The reason that chicken soup seems to help cure the common cold isn’t because of the chicken—it’s that great, liquidy broth that helps flush out mucus and improve your symptoms. “Staying hydrated with water, decaffeinated tea, sport drinks, and sugar-free drinks is best to help fight dehydration associated with fever,” Dr. Tong says. The one liquid you can skip—alcohol, which can actually dehydrate you even more.