Preparing for the 2022, 2023 Cold, Flu Season

Pharmacy TimesNovember 2022
Volume 88
Issue 11

Defending yourself against the flu and spreading diseases can be as simple as washing your hands.

This cold and influenza season is expected to be the worst one in 2 years. Public mask mandates are no longer enforced, and the spread of influenza is expected to be worse for elderly patients and those with compromised immune systems. Ways to mitigate the severity and spread of the flu include healthy habits, such as getting a flu shot and handwashing.

There are many ways to follow a healthy lifestyle, but some of the most common and widely accepted practices include ample sleep, a balanced diet, exercise, and staying hydrated. A healthy body is more able to strengthen the immune system, whose job is to attack foreign invaders and viruses.

Handwashing is the most effective way to control the spread of disease, ranging from the common cold to COVID-19. This practice is also effective against spreading bacterial infections and diarrhea related illnesses, mitigating the need for antibiotics and other drugs. Research results also suggest that hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol also works if soap and water are not available.

Finally, getting a flu shot is one of the most protective measures. Thousands of individuals are hospitalized with influenza each year, so health care professionals recommend getting an annual shot. The flu vaccine is available to anyone aged 6 months and older, and there are special high-dose vaccines available to patients aged 65 years and older. Ideally, patients should get their flu shots in September or October, but the vaccine is still effective if administered later in the season.

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