2005-10-21 / Community

Don’t Let The Flu ‘Bug’ You This Season

With the cold and flu season fast approaching, many New Yorkers are unaware how to prevent this seasonal and potentially deadly illness. The Visiting Nurse Regional Health Care System of New York City (VNR) has issued helpful tips on ways to combat colds and the flu this season.

What To Watch For

-The common cold is centered in the nose. The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and runny nose. Throat irritation is also involved, and sometimes a minimal fever. Depending on the cold virus, symptoms can include headache, cough, postnasal drip, burning eyes, muscle aches, or a decreased appetite.

-The flu can be a much more serious illness. Classically, the flu beings abruptly, with a fever in the 100-102 degree range. A flushed face, body aches, and a marked lack of energy are also associated with the flu. Some people have other symptoms such as dizziness or vomiting, with fevers lasting from either one or two days up to five days.

How To Reduce Colds and Flu This Season

-Ask you doctor about the flu shot. Receiving an annual flu shot is vital to those with weakened immune systems, the elderly or those exposed to illnesses in high-risk areas.

-Wash your hands frequently. Proper hand washing is an effective method of prevention. However, avoid antibacterial soaps, which give no added benefit and may even increase your chances of getting sick.

-Practice good nutrition habits by eating healthy. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains boost the immune system. Also, your body becomes drier during the winter seasons, so drink water often to replenish fluids.

-Getting a good night’s rest regenerates the body. Lack of sleep makes you feel run down, making your body susceptible to illness.

-Exercise strengthens the body and helps fight off illness.

-By listening to your body, you can have a faster recovery time. If you feel rundown, tired or achy, take a break.

For more information from the Visiting Nurse Regional Health Care System, go to www.vnrhcs.org.

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