Staying Healthy this Flu Season: A Doctor’s Secret

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By: Dr. Sharon Thompson, MD, MPH, FACOG
Managing Director, Central Phoenix Obstetrics and Gynecology

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)--Truth be told it’s not a secret.  The keys to decreasing your chance of a cold or flu are simple and well known.  

[RELATED: Flu season shows signs of leveling off]

Here are a few:

1. Wash your hands well and often. Skin is very effective at keeping viruses out. We often bring viruses into our bodies through touching contaminated hands to our eyes, noses and mouths. Wash hands well with soap and water or alcohol-based cleaners to reduce the spread of viruses.

2. Cover to cough or sneeze. Cold and flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. A cough into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue then wash your hands.

[RELATED: CDC releases latest flu numbers]

3. Don't smoke. The lungs are an important part of the immune system which are damaged by smoking. Smokers are at higher risk for lung diseases and respiratory infections.

4. Avoid people who are sick. And if you are ill, it may be a good idea to avoid the office or classroom. Stay home if you can. This can help you treat your symptoms and recover as well as avoid spreading the virus.

[RELATED: Widespread flu found across 46 states]

5. Get the flu vaccine. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for all persons over 6 months of age every year. The flu vaccine is safe and is not associated with any acute or chronic illnesses.  

6. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Studies in animals have shown that deficiencies in some vitamins and minerals can decrease the immune system.  A wide variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet reduces the chance of missing these important nutrients.

For more information on Central Phoenix Obstetrics and Gynecology, click here

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