Healthy Seasonal Tips from Dr. Jamie McManus

You might have heard (or noticed by way of your empty school or workplace) that this year’s flu season is off to a bad start. How bad? Reports are that this flu season is the worst we’ve seen in about 10 years. The flu is so bad this year that Boston has declared a public health emergency. You can also take a look at the flu tracker from Google, which lets you compare previous years to this one and shows the dramatic increase in people with flu this year (with no end in sight).

Having the flu is no fun, but there are ways to avoid getting it in the first place:

  • Wash Your Hands: Despite all the high-tech wizardry we have, the best protection is still the simplest: wash your hands. The problem isn’t with what you get on your hands, it’s when you move your hands to your face. Estimates are that most people touch their face somewhere between 5 and 20 times every hour. That means whatever is on a doorknob, sink, desk, or the person’s hand you just shook is going to make it to your nose, mouth, or eye. Once there, it is a short trip until you are sick.
  • Cover Your Nose and Mouth: When you cough and sneeze make sure you cover your nose and mouth. Throw away tissues after you use them.
  • Be Healthy: Your body can better handle a bug if you are healthy. This means getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, drinking plenty of fluids, and exercising.
  • Boost Your Immune System: I like to include lots of garlic and onions in my food during flu season. Onions and garlic have long been used for their healing properties and they are a tasty addition to any meal (especially soups). There are many other herbs and nutrients that can also help support your immune system; make sure you get enough of them as well.

With a little planning you could make it through this flu season in your best health.

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