Get Ready for Cold and Flu Season

  • Published
  • By Col. Kerry Dexter
  • 22nd Medical Group commander
Cold and Flu season is fast approaching and in light of the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I would like to offer some reminders on how to avoid getting sick:

· Get a flu vaccination. Studies have shown that a vaccination can eliminate or reduce the severity of flu symptoms and decrease the risk of complications. The 22nd Medical Group should have flu shots available to active duty personnel in November and to family members in December.

· Wash your hands often, especially after shaking hands with other people.

· Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth as viruses are most likely to enter your body through these areas.

· Don't use your hand to cover sneezes and coughs. Use a tissue or the crook of your arm. If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately after use.

· Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

· Drink lots of fluids, preferably water.

· Get regular exercise.

· Get enough sleep.

· Don't smoke. Smoking irritates the lining of your nose, sinuses, and lungs, which may make you more susceptible to complications of a cold or flu.

· Keep household surfaces clean. Wipe door knobs, drawer pulls, light switches, telephones, remote controls, computer keyboards and toys frequently with disinfectant to avoid spreading germs.

· Use paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom for hand washing--germs can live for several hours on cloth towels.

· Control your stress. Studies have shown that people experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems, so learn to relax and stay healthy.

By following the above suggestions, you can reduce your risk of coming down with a cold or flu. If you do get sick, please take measures to prevent spreading what you have to others. Here is wishing you an illness-free season.