Health spotlight: Preparing for flu season

As the chilly months draw near, it’s time to gear up for something other than cozy sweaters and warm cocoa – yes, it’s that time of the year when up to 11% of Americans catch the flu. But don’t worry, we’re here with some helpful tips to help you stay healthy and keep the flu at bay.

What’s the flu? Influenza, a.k.a. “the flu” is an illness caused by viruses, which can make you feel really tired, achy and just not yourself. They can spread when someone who’s sick coughs, sneezes or talks – kind of like how a cold or COVID-19 can spread.

Tip 1: Clean those hands. As with COVID-19, one powerful way to stay healthy is by keeping your hands clean. Washing them with soap and water for about 20 seconds washes away the flu virus and other germs. If soap isn’t around, use hand sanitizer.

Tip 2: Cover your sneeze and cough with your elbow or tissue — and ask others to do the same. This lowers the chances of spreading the flu virus.

Tip 3: Time for your flu shot. Because the flu virus mutates on a regular basis, flu vaccines are continually updated to make them more effective. Get your flu vaccine as soon as you can — it goes a long way to protecting you from catching the virus and it’s perfectly safe.

Tip 4: Get enough rest and eat well. Make sure you get enough sleep and eat healthy foods like fruits and veggies. This keeps your body strong and ready to tackle any flu bugs that come your way.

Tip 5: Consider wearing a mask if you think you’re sick. While we’re all happy we’re no longer needing to wear a mask to protect ourselves from COVID-19, the reality is wearing a mask if you think you’re sick or those around you are can keep the flu from spreading.

How do you protect yourself from the flu? What tips and suggestions do you have to avoid catching it or lessen its effects when you do? Share your thoughts with the Shopper’s Voice community!

Did you know: You can spread the flu before you have symptoms

It’s possible to infect others a full day before flu symptoms appear and up to 7 days after you get sick. And young children and people with weak immune systems can infect others for a longer time. [Source]