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A Few Important Do’s and Don’ts to Keep in Mind This Cold and Flu Season

November 3, 2016
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An estimated 3 million patients visit urgent care facilities every week, but that number will be increasing soon as cold and flu season arrives. While you may think you’re prepared, there could be a few things missing from your cold and flu disaster kit. To help you prepare for the coming season of sickness — or, better yet, avoid the flu completely — here are a few do’s and don’ts to incorporate into your routine.

DO: Get Your Flu Shot
Even if you haven’t gotten the flu in years, it’s important to get your flu shot. The shot can take up to three weeks to be fully effective, so the earlier in the season you get it, the better.

DON’T: Believe People Who Say the Flu Shot Doesn’t Work
There’s a persistent flu season myth that the flu vaccine can sometimes give you the flu. Don’t believe it.

DON’T: Sneeze into Your Hands
Sneezing into your hands is hands down the best way to spread germs, second only to sneezing into the open air. Your best bet is to aim for your elbow, a tissue, or somewhere in your sleeve, not your hands.

DO: Wash Your Hands
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, keeping your hands clean is a crucial factor in staying healthy. However, colds and the flu are viral, so antibacterial soap may not necessarily be the best defense.

DON’T: Overload on Vitamins After Getting Sick

While it’s important to regularly ingest essential vitamins and minerals, taking them once you’re sick is simply a waste of money. Regular consumption of Zinc and vitamin C may help you get better faster, but not if you only take them while you’re ill.

DO: Eat What Makes You Feel Good
Hot soup is usually the best remedy for a lack of appetite, as it opens up your nasal passages. But if the only thing you feel up to eating is Popsicles for an afternoon, then you should just eat Popsicles and do your best to stay hydrated.

DON’T: Overdo the Exercise
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy, but if you’re feeling sick, then your body is already fighting as hard as it can. During a cold, you should stay away from cardio and excessive physical activity, as it could actually weaken your body’s overtaxed immune system.

DO: Visit Urgent Care
If you think you’re coming down with the flu, visit a walk in clinic for a check up. They can help diagnose and treat your illness, as well as advise you in the best habits to pick up while you’re sick.

And, don’t forget, visit our Phoenix urgent care center BEFORE the flu season starts to get your annual flu shot as soon as possible.