Ruthie Hawkins, BlackDoctor.org Contributor
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But, does the same apply for good ol’ flu season? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 200,000 people (5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population) are hospitalized for flu-related complications like bronchitis and pneumonia. Those at high risk of such complications include pregnant women, children under 5 (but especially children under 2), as well as, men and women 65-years and older. Others at high risk include individuals battling medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, liver and kidney disorders, among other things.
According to the CDC’s 2016-2017 influenza season FAQs, new things to be aware of include:
- Only injectable flu shots are recommended this season.
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
- There will be some new vaccines on the market this season.
- The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.
Who Should Not Get A Flu Shot
Individuals who should NOT get a flu shot are as follows, reports the CDC:
- Children younger than 6 months old
- People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any of its ingredients
- Note: There are certain flu shots that have different age indications. For example, people younger than 65 years of age should not get the high-dose flu shot and people who are younger than 18 years old or older than 64 years old should not get the intradermal flu shot.
People who should talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot:
- People who have an allergy to eggs or other vaccine ingredients
- People who have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
- People who are feeling ill
So how does one protect themselves during the dreaded flu season? Whether you decide to vaccinate or not, check out these 5 ways to survive cold and flu season:
Eat yogurt for breakfast: According to a 2011 study, scientists found that people who consumed probiotics by way of foods like yogurt, kefir and kimchi, had 12 percent fewer upper respiratory infections, then those who didn’t.
Shy away from those displaying symptoms: Yes, running away from sneezing bystanders can come across a wee bit rude, but according to experts, germs carried in a sneeze can travel a whopping 20 feet.
Hit the snooze button: A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that subjects who slept for fewer than seven hours were nearly three times as susceptible to colds as people who slept for at least eight hours.
Pop zinc lozenges: According to a 2013 Cochrane Library analysis, authors discovered that ingesting this immune booster within 24 hours of feeling “under the weather,” reduces the duration of the illness. A daily dose of 75 milligrams is recommended.
Drink up: Not to our surprise, water also makes the cut. It’s no secret that liquids (specifically water) helps you lose weight and keeps you hydrated. So, it should be no surprise that it also helps thin out mucus. By drinking 2 liters a day, you can wage a massive attack on that thick green mucus residing in your pipes.