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As The 2014 Flu Season Peaks Here Are Some Simple Tips To Help Protect You and Your Family From Becoming Ill

The 2014 flu season has been ramping up for the past few weeks. In the United States there are currently 41 states reporting widespread flu with California being one of them. This year’s Flu Season has been especially hard for young Americans as the main flu strain last circulated before many were born so their bodies have not had a chance to build up antibodies to it.

Here are some tips to protect you and your family during the 2014 flu season:

Get Vaccinated. Anyone over the age of 6 months should consider getting a flu vaccination this season. High-risk individuals should be especially proactive in receiving the vaccine, and include: seniors over the age of 65, pregnant women, those with a history of respiratory issues, and those that work in a healthcare setting. Flu vaccines are offered in many different locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, as well as by many employers.

Wash your hands several times per day or use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face. There is no greater preventative measure a person can take to help reduce the chance of infection than to practice good hygiene. Hand sanitizer has been found to kill 99% of all germs in 20 seconds. When washing your hands, make sure to use warm water with soap, scrub for 20 seconds, and pat dry with a clean towel. Make a point to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer when you touch high-exposure items in public, such as after using an ATM, handling money, or pumping gas. Avoid touching your face so that viruses do not invade the mucous membranes in your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Increase Vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can aid in removing toxins and free radicals from the body. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and increases your immune cells which can come under attack when your body comes in contact with infection. The North American Dietary Reference Intake recommends 90 milligrams of Vitamin C per day. The best sources of Vitamin C include dietary supplements, fruits, such as kiwi, orange, grapefruit, and tangerine; as well as vegetables, including broccoli, spinach and tomatoes.

For additional information on this year’s Infuenza season, please visit:

Cdc.gov/flu

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