How to Avoid the Flu

The flu, also known as influenza, is a disease that can cause aches and pains and upper respiratory problems, and can become serious or deadly, mostly in the very young, the elderly, and the medically weak. The flu virus mutates each, presumably in China, and spreads across the world from there, peaking in the United States in the winter months. There are steps you can take to avoid the flu, however.

Get the flu vaccination. The vaccine is generally considered to be a safe vaccine. (Note, if you have egg allergies, you cannot take the vaccine.) It generally costs around $25, and your health insurance may cover it and even waive applicable co-pays. You will need to be re-vaccinated each year, since the flu virus mutates each year.
Wash your hands regularly. If an infected person touches something and then you touch the same thing, then you put your hand to your mouth or eyes, then you may become infected.
Remember that people are contagious before they get symptoms, so don't assume that you can't get the flu from someone who doesn't feel sick yet.
Avoid crowds, especially indoors, when possible. Someone can infect you by coughing or sneezing, and if you are in a crowd, you are more likely to be close to such a person.
Avoid excessive stress and eat healthfully. Your immune system may be able to ward off an infection without symptoms if you are healthy.

Copyright 2009 by Michael Nehring