How to stay flu-free this holiday season
Flu season may overlap with the holidays, but this shouldn’t come with the fear of getting sick or possibly spreading an illness to a loved one. Holidays should be spent enjoying each other’s time and traditions. In order to protect yourself and others, Dr. Joyal O. Akkawi, an Advocate Health Care family medicine physician, shares how to not let flu get in the way of your holiday plans.
Preparation can make all the difference. “Staying hydrated, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, ensuring adequate sleep and refraining from smoking are all key components to fortify your body’s defenses,” says Dr. Akkawi.
If you are traveling this year, there are precautions you can take, according to Dr. Akkawi. “The key thing to do, is to wear a mask and practice proper social distancing as well as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and then washing your hands,” she says.
Not only is it important to keep yourself healthy this holiday season, but keeping your family healthy is just as important. Dr. Akkawi recommends getting your flu vaccine to protect others. “Vaccinating against the flu boosts immunity, especially two weeks prior to your event as it takes two weeks for your body to reach full immunity from the vaccine,” she says.
Illness happens and although it may be tough, not traveling when you are sick is important. This protects all of those around you from catching it and spreading it to their loved ones as well.
These tips will help you and other have a safe, healthy and memorable holiday season.
About the Author
Blair Crane, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Missouri - Columbia and has more than six years of communication and marketing experience. Outside of work you can find her trying new restaurants and hanging out with her two cats.