The winter season brings lots of joy from holidays to snowfall to family gathering. However, along with that comes the dreadful cold and flu season. Two sicknesses that can be easily caught through the months of November to March.
As early as October, the flu shot, which is an influenza vaccine altered regularly to aconomate to the rapidly changing infectious disease, is given out freely to towns across the nation at ones local school.
The World Health Organization states that about 10% of the United States gets the flu every year. And, an average of 36,000 Americans die each year due to this sickness. Getting the flu shot each year may decrease the chances of catching this unwanted illness.
Melissa Gaitanis, a mother of two Lincoln High School students, specializes in infectious diseases,she states, “Kids and adults should be vaccinated yearly because it is difficult to predict how bad the flu season will actually be.”
While a cold may be harder to avoid being around people everyday at school/work, there are precautions that can be put into place to help try and avoid it.
Both the cold and flu can be caught by being around one who already has the illness. The sickness can be spread so easily by simply sitting in a chair that has been sat in by someone who was sick. So, avoid sharing objects and touching your face, mouth, etc.
Washing your hands multiple times throughout the day ensures less of a chance to not pass along the certain virus, or to not catch it from someone else. Gaitanis feels very strongly about the cold and flu season, “Good hand hygiene is always important, and never more so than during the flu season,” says Doctor Gaitanis.
Sleep is also a key to not get sick this winter. Juggling school, sports, and other activities, makes it easy for your body to degenerate. The National Sleep Foundation states that a teenager in high school should receive around 8-10 hours of sleep each night. While most teens can not say they truly meet that expectation, sleep is extremely prominent, especially during the winter season.
Plenty of water throughout the day is yet another essential reason on trying to preventing oneself from getting sick. Water cleanses your body from toxins that may be in roaming in your body. Water fights off illness, and also helps boost your energy. Overall, it just helps one to feel better.
Lastly, eating right and exercising regularly helps you stay healthy and feel great. Gaitanis says, “Eating protein helps the body produce immune cells.” Immune cells help defend one from viruses, bacteria, and other unwelcome ‘invaders’ that could be circulation in your body. She continues, “Adding antioxidant-rich foods in your diet helps to decrease inflammation and protects the immune system from damage.” Antioxidant-rich foods include whole grain nuts, berries, salmon, green tea, and other nutritional-value foods.
A substantial part of every winter season, is treating and taking care of yourself. It is important to do everything possible to NOT get sick. Make your body feel healthy now, so in the long run of this winter, you will wreak the benefits.