Take steps to fight the flu before and during its onset

In the current flu epidemic, healthy people are asking themselves – and their doctors -what they can do to prevent the illness from affecting them and their families.

The first answer is to get a flu vaccine. Everyone over the age of six months can get a vaccination safely, and it’s particularly recommended for those at higher risk, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and seniors age 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But with flu shots and antiviral medication supplies running low in some areas, there are other common-sense steps that people can take to keep the flu outside their doors.

The CDC offers these easy tips.Wash hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth keeps germs from spreading. And stay out of contact with sick people and cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze so others won’t be affected.

Care during flu
When people do come down with the flu, the CDC recommends they stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without help from fever-reducing medications.

Good health habits really come into play at times when the flu is rampant. Getting a good night’s sleep, managing daily stress, drinking fluids regularly and eating healthy foods all contribute to one’s good health.

In addition, dietary supplements that bolster the immune system are particularly important.For instance,the supplement Super C22 from Dr. Newton’s Naturals protects the immune system with 22 forms of vitamin C, is anti-inflammatory, restores energy and relieves stress. It builds immunity from colds, coughs and flu.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns people not to overdo over-the-counter medications because many contain the same active ingredients and could cause people to take more than the recommended dosage.

People who are taking care of those who are sick with the flu, but haven’t yet become affected by the illness, also need to take precautions. They can help protect themselves by taking vitamins and flu-fighting supplements because they have been found to be effective in preventing the flu.

Whether taking care of others or themselves, people can become more comfortable by having a humidifier nearby to make breathing easier, gargling with salt water to relieve a sore throat and covering with warm blankets to calm chills.