Avoiding the Flu During the Holiday Season

Throughout the holiday season, flu cases tend to reach their peak; many respiratory viruses have an easier time surviving in the cold than in the warm weather of other seasons. Holiday gatherings also often provide ideal circumstances for these viruses to spread.

Fortunately, there are a few ways for you and your family members to protect yourselves against the flu and prevent as few people from getting sick as possible, allowing everyone to enjoy holiday celebrations in good health. Some preventative steps you can take include:

Getting vaccinated: The simplest, most effective step you can take toward preventing the spread of the flu is to make sure you’re up to date on your influenza vaccinations. Anyone over the age of six months should get vaccinated annually.

Wash your hands regularly: Another simple method of protecting against the flu is to practice effective hand hygiene through regular, consistent handwashing. You should generally wash your hands after using the bathroom, after touching surfaces used by other people or animals, before and after preparing food, and before and after coming into direct contact with another person or animal. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Practice healthy lifestyle habits: Regular exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet are effective for keeping your body at a well-protected baseline level against many diseases and conditions, including the flu. Include regular aerobic exercise in your routine several times per week and make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

You should also make sure to visit a doctor as soon as you begin to feel symptoms of a respiratory infection, including a sore throat, difficulty breathing or wheezing, congestion, or coughing. You can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.