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How to prevent the flu

October 23, 2019


As a family doctor on the frontlines, Dr. Sharon Domb does this all day long. The biggest thing that I do is handwashing and that transfers over from work to home. Even if you washed your hands five minutes ago, Dr. Domb says do it again before you touch your face or eat anything. So you’re touching a lot of other surfaces that could be contiminated in the meantime. That includes eating out. Wash your hands after handling the menu, a surface that is often ripe with germs. Dr. Domb says some organisms can live on surfaces for days. Her next tip? Get the flu shot early. It’s an inactivated or dead vaccine and you can’t get sick from it. So I really encourage people to get the flu shot. Remember that it will take about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect. Tip three? Keep your immune system strong. Eating a well balanced diet, making sure you’re getting the four food groups, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, none of that is going to hurt, it’s all going to help in terms of your immune system and ability to fight things. So what about taking lots of vitamin C? Unless you have dietary restrictions, the only supplement Dr. Domb recommends for most people is vitamin D. Aim for one thousand international units per day throughout the fall and winter months. If you do get the flu, she says to stay home to avoid spreading it. If you’ve got a fever and malaise and tired and just generally stuffed up and cough, most of that will resolve usually in seven to ten days. Very young or old patients, those with other health conditions, or people experiencing localized symptoms like in their ear or lungs may need to seek medical help. And of course, don’t forget the chicken soup. While Dr. Domb says there’s no compelling evidence it will fight or prevent the flu, it sure can help you feel better. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

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