Five things you can do now to prepare for cold and flu season
October 12, 2020
With COVID-19 still spreading across the country, it's more important now than ever to be prepared for cold and flu season. “Protecting yourself against flu leaves your body’s immune system stronger to fight other viruses,” says Dr. David Wartenberg, Family Medicine at ARC Far West. “Remember, preparation is often the best prevention!”
Here are five simple things you can do right now to make sure you and your family are ready.
- Get a flu shot
The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from getting the flu is to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends universal flu vaccination, meaning that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. “Flu vaccination can prevent or reduce flu illnesses and doctors’ visits,” says Dr. Jasmeet Kaur, Family Medicine at ARC Anderson Mill, “As well as flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.”
- Stock up your medicine cabinet
Make sure you have a thermometer and over-the-counter medications like cough syrup, decongestant, pain reliever, and something to lower a fever. Be sure to check for interactions with other medications you take. Other non-food staples to keep on hand are throat lozenges and tissues.
- Prepare your pantry
The last thing you want to do is leave your house when you are sick. Stock up now on staples like herbal tea, soup and broth, and fruit juice. Think about other longer shelf-life comfort foods or necessities you might want to have on hand, like crackers and apple sauce.
- Practice good hygiene
By now, you know things like washing your hands frequently helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Good hygiene also prevents the spread of cold and flu. “The same handwashing rules apply for cold and flu as for COVID-19 for both you and your children,” says Dr. Thu M. “Stephanie” Nguyen, Pediatrician at ARC Center Street. “Wash your hands for 20 seconds and keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes, especially if you've been out in public.”
- Clean your surfaces
Flu-related viruses can live outside the body for a long period of time; some experts say as long as three days on some hard surfaces. That’s why it's important to disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace. This will decrease the spread of germs and reduce the risk of infection.
Getting a flu shot is as easy as 1-2-3!
Flu shots are available for established and new patients at ARC. Regardless of how you choose to get your flu shot at ARC, an appointment is required. There are three ways to make an appointment:
- Log into your Mychart account and schedule a flu shot directly into available schedules
- Request an appointment online at ARCappointments.com
- Call any ARC clinic and press "1"
Learn more about ARC flu shots.