By staff of Forum Health Asheville
Implementing the basics of prevention and treatment of colds and flu is simple and inexpensive. While there is no cure for viral infections, preventive measures can be effective and viruses’ adverse effects can be minimized by treatment. Following some simple recommendations can help you stay healthy this cold and flu season.
First and foremost, to help prevent getting the flu, wash your hands as needed throughout the day with a mild soap that doesn’t irritate your skin. Keep your hands away from your face (hand-to-face contact can result in transmission of disease to mucus membranes of your eyes, nose, or mouth). Avoid putting objects such as pens and pencils in your mouth. Viral illnesses are spread more easily in confined indoor environments such as airplanes, buses, malls, and elevators.
Reduce your susceptibility to or hasten your recovery from the flu by doing the following: If you feel you are getting sick, change your plans and stay home and rest. Drink plenty of water, eat a light diet (to spare your energy for healing and to aid detoxification), eliminate sugar intake, and do light activity around the house as tolerated. Making a pot of organic chicken soup (by stewing whole chickens with bones) and freezing it for use during winter illnesses may be wise.
Have a plan should you or a loved one come down with a cold or flu this winter. Early intervention may help shorten the course of your illness and help prevent complications. Do not give aspirin to a child or teenager with the flu to avoid a known adverse effect, Reye’s syndrome. Seek medical attention (especially for children under 5 years of age, the elderly, and immune compromised individuals) if fever, sweats, or weakness persist.