The single best way to prevent your family or you from contracting the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.  The Centers for Disease Control emphasizes that the benefits of flu vaccinations are numerous and well researched:  they can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization; they are an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions; vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy; and, getting vaccinated also protects people around you who are more susceptible to illness, such as babies, young children and seniors.

However, though recommended, flu shots are not mandatory.  Because so many still decide to forego the flu vaccination, it is likely that a family member, friend or coworker you know will be affected this season.  The bad news: once someone is infected with the flu, he or she can infect others one day before showing symptoms and up to seven days after becoming sick.  There are some steps you can take to further protect your family and yourself from the flu and other illnesses:

  1. Wash your hands.  Constantly.
  2. Carry your own pen.  Use it in stores, restaurants, or in the doctor’s office.
  3. Keep your hands off your face. Your nose, mouth and eyes are the primary entry points for illness, so keeping your hands away from them lessens the chance of getting ill.
  4. Get a restful night’s sleep, as being well rested increases the body’s natural protection against viruses.
  5. Sanitize your cell phone daily.  At any given time, there can be over 1 million living germs on your phone.

Again, the best defense against the flu is a vaccination, so schedule your flu shot today at CareWell Urgent Cares.  Should illness strike you or a member of your family, we are open extended hours and no appointment is needed.