5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Illness this Cold and Flu Season

Oct 01, 2023
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5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Illness this Cold and Flu Season

The risk of catching a cold or the flu increases as the seasons change and temperatures drop. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate between 27 million and 54 million people will catch the flu this year. While you can't completely eliminate the possibility of falling ill, several proactive steps can minimize your risk and keep you healthy. Our team at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital in Sugar Land, Texas, prioritizes your health.  

We're here to provide five essential tips to protect yourself from colds and flu this season.

1. Get vaccinated

An annual flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to safeguard yourself against the flu. This vaccine helps your immune system recognize and fight the flu virus, reducing the severity of the illness if you do get sick. It's not too late to schedule your flu shot, and we offer convenient vaccination clinics to ensure you're protected.

Remember, last year’s vaccine doesn’t protect you from this year’s strain.

2. Practice good hand hygiene

Viruses that cause colds and the flu are often spread through direct contact with other people or contaminated surfaces. Regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is a simple yet powerful defense against infection. If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Be mindful not to touch your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this can introduce the virus into your body.

3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle 

A strong immune system is better equipped to fend off infections. Prioritize a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and ensure you get enough sleep. 

Adequate rest allows your body to recover and repair, while regular physical activity boosts your immune system's function. Staying hydrated is also crucial, as it helps your body flush out toxins and maintain optimal health.

4. Avoid close contact with sick individuals 

If someone you know is sick with a cold or the flu, minimizing close contact is essential to prevent transmission. Encourage them to practice good respiratory hygiene by covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the inside of their elbow. Additionally, maintain a safe distance and avoid sharing personal items like utensils, cups, or towels.

5. Keep your environment clean

Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops. Viruses can survive on surfaces for extended periods, so maintaining a clean environment helps prevent their spread. Use disinfectants that are effective against cold and flu viruses and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use.

You’re smart to be proactive this season when it comes to avoiding the flu and colds. These simple tips go a long way in reducing your risk of getting sick this season. 

At St. Michael’s Elite Hospital, we’re committed to helping you and your loved ones stay healthy. If you have any questions or need to schedule a visit or vaccination, contact us today or use this website to make your appointment. Stay well!