The COVID-19 pandemic may be top of mind, but another dangerous respiratory illness—the flu—will soon start circulating in earnest. Learn what you can do to prepare.
The flu is always around, but cases increase in the fall, peak between December and February, and slack off in the spring, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To prevent flu season from catching you off guard, you can:
- Get a flu shot before flu season takes off. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot before the end of October. Your body needs about two weeks after you get the shot to start forming protective antibodies, so if you get vaccinated in early fall, your immune system will be ready by the time flu season is raging.
- Eat for your immune system. Include foods in your diet that feature immune system-supporting nutrients. You can find vitamin C in bell peppers and broccoli, protein in lean meat, eggs and beans, vitamin D in fortified cereals and dairy products, and beta-carotene in tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
- Move more. Exercise can help rid the lungs of germs, help antibodies move faster through the blood and reduce stress hormones, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Get in a good hygiene groove. If you start practicing preventive steps now—such as washing hands often, not touching your face, and sanitizing frequently touched objects and surfaces—they’ll be second nature by flu season.
During flu season, you can receive a flu vaccine at any of our primary care provider offices. Think you may have the flu and it’s after your doctor’s office has closed? Either of our Immediate Care offices in Paintsville or Magoffin County, can help you. We have extended and weekend hours to meet your healthcare needs.
Monday - Friday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm