Cold and Flu in the Winter

cold and flu

 

What should you do to avoid cold and flu in the winter

December is when infections tend to become prevalent. Here, we look at some ways you can minimize your risk of catching colds and flu.

  • Keep warm- Be prepared to dress warmly when that sudden cold weather sets in, we lose up to 30per cent of our body heat through our heads – so wear a hat.
  • Wash your hands- Germs can be transmitted by physical contact and enter the body when infected hands touch vulnerable parts like our eyes, mouths and noses.
  • Watch the weather- Low cloud, dull and misty conditions tend to bring an increase in germs. Viruses survive longer when the weather is moist.
  • Avoid huddling and heating- Because people are much closer together physically during winter, this makes it easier for infections to pass between people. Crowded trains, department stores bustling with shoppers and people gathering for parties all make catching a cold more likely.
  • Herbal help Zinc and garlic– The mineral zinc is essential to help fight colds and provide a boost to a flagging immune system. Good food sources include meat, oysters, eggs, seafood, tofu, black- eyed peas and wheat germ. Zinc and Vitamin C make a great cold-busting duo.Garlic helps ease chest complaints and small amounts taken daily may also reduce the frequency of colds and flu.
  • Drink Plenty of Water– Doctors recommend we drink about eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy. If you have a cold, being dehydrated makes your mucus drier and thicker and less able to cope against invading bacteria and viruses. If you’ve already caught a cold, drinking plenty of fluids will help flush out the infection.
  • Sleep Soundly– Lack of sleep makes us more prone to infection.
  • Positive Attitude– Moods also affect our ability to fight off infections, and if you feel stressed you are more likely to become ill compared to when you’re feeling buoyant, happy and relaxed.
  • Keep on Moving– Don’t underestimate the importance of regular activity, especially in winter. Apart from keeping our circulation going, regular moderate exercise increases the number of natural killer (NK) cells in our bodies.
  • Take vitamins and probiotics-Taking a daily multivitamin is especially important in the winter when we may be less likely to be eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables, and are also more at risk from infection. Probiotics, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, are ‘friendly’ bacteria in our intestines and increasingly recognized for their importance not only in maintaining a healthy digestive system, but for improving the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Studies have shown that taking probiotic supplements can improve the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections.

We at On Call Medical Clinic hope that this information will help you to prepare our body to fight this year’s cold and flu season. Remember we are here 7 days a week, if you come down with an unexpected cold and flu. Our team of medical professionals is here ready to help. Please visit our website at www.oncallclinic.com to review all the services we offer.

  

 

 

 

Flu Shot Should I Get One?

flu shot

 

Many people question whether they should get a flu shot or not. Many will have an excuse why they shouldn’t have the flu shot.

Well let’s clear up those excuses

  • I don’t want the shot because it will give me the Flu

This is not true. The flu shot or nasal spray cannot give you the flu. It takes a couple of weeks for the body to be protected from influenzas after receiving the vaccination. So, there is a possibility that you could contract the flu in that timeframe.

  • It doesn’t really make a difference if I get the flu shot or not.

Again, this is not true. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vaccinations prevented 79,000 flu hospitalizations and 6.6 million flu-associated illnesses during the influenza season. Complications from the flu can be serious and result in hospitalization, and even death, for some patients. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.

  • I am not a candidate for the flu vaccine

With rare exceptions, everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine. Pregnant women, those younger than 5 or older than 65 and people with certain chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for flu-related complications.

  • I don’t need the flu shot because I never get sick

Even if you don’t get sick — or only experience mild illness when you are sick — others might not be as lucky. Infants, the elderly and people with multiple medical conditions or weakened immune systems may not be able to fight off Influenza as well as you do.

Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also helps protect others who may not be able to fight off illness as well as you.

  • I heard the vaccine has side effects

Side effects of flu vaccination are generally mild. If you get the flu shot, you might feel achy or have redness or soreness where the shot was given. If you get the nasal spray vaccine, you could get a stuffy nose or throat irritation.

Talk with your doctor to find out which type of vaccine is right for you and make sure to let him or her know if you get any of these symptoms. Often, we can recommend supportive measures to help you through these.

But most potential side effects of the vaccine are nothing, compared to how bad you’d feel if you had to suffer through the actual flu.

We at On Call Medical Clinic hope that this information helped clear up your concerns about having a flu shot this season. If you are not feeling well or had a minor injury and your primary care doctor is not available please remember we are here 7 days a week to help. We have laboratory and x-ray capability at our office, so we can quickly diagnosis your medical issue. Please visit our website at www.oncallclinic.com to learn more about all the medical services we offer. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at 228 818-5155 7 days a week.