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Tips to Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

It’s that time of year again. As the weather gets colder and you begin to spend more time inside, the higher your chances of contracting a virus. The cold weather is not the culprit, however. Rather the increased amount of indoor time means your chances of direct contact with an infected person are far greater.

So, how do you avoid contracting a cold or the flu this winter? Read on for some great tips on how you can stay healthy this cold and flu season.

The Flu Shot

Although the flu is a very contagious virus, you can help keep it at bay by getting the flu shot. The vaccine has been proven to reduce the number of doctor and hospital visits related to this virus.[i]

The flu shot is updated yearly to keep up with changes in the virus, so you should consider receiving it each fall. Alberta Health Services influenza immunization clinics begin Oct. 21 and are free to all residents of the province over the age of six months. You can check your local clinic locations and schedules here.[ii]

[i] The Flu. Available: https://www.ontario.ca/page/flu-facts. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

[ii] Influenza Immunization. Available: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza/influenza.aspx. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

Tips to Avoid Catching a Cold

Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine to prevent catching a cold. There are a number of steps you can take, however, to prevent getting sick. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can reduce your chances of getting sick:

  • Wash your hands frequently to get rid of viruses clinging to surfaces such as furniture, doorknobs and counters. If you’re out running errands, carry some disinfecting wipes, sanitizer or spray in a purse, briefcase or backpack, or keep them in your vehicle. This allows you to clean your hands after touching shopping carts or baskets.
  • Don’t touch your face. Viruses spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks, and the infected droplets enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Be diligent in disinfecting personal items and surfaces in your home, especially if a family member is sick.
  • Avoid sharing glasses, cutlery, towels, and wash cloths.
  • Remind people around you to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Eat healthy foods, avoid smoking and get adequate sleep to ensure your immune system is at its best.
  • Stay home when you’re sick. Viruses spread easily in group settings, so avoid going to work or sending children to school when sick.[i]

[i] The Flu. Available: https://www.ontario.ca/page/flu-facts. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

Cold and Flu – What’s the Difference?

A cold comes with sneezing, a mild to moderate cough and may also cause sinus congestion and even an earache. Although body aches and tiredness can also be symptoms, they are usually moderate.[i]

The flu, however, is often accompanied by achy muscles and fatigue along with fever, sore throat and chest discomfort or coughing and possibly chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Sinus congestion is also common and, in extreme cases, can lead to pneumonia or exacerbate an existing respiratory condition.[ii]

[i] Understanding the Common Cold. Available: https://www.advil.ca/resources/article/understanding-common-cold-0?cid=261. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

[ii] The Flu. Available: https://www.ontario.ca/page/flu-facts. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

What to Do When You Have a Cold

Keeping your body well hydrated — water, broth or green tea are all good choices — is vital. Combined with rest, good hydration will help you get back on your feet more quickly. You can also soothe a sore throat and treat a cough with lozenges. Adding moisture to the air can help loosen nasal passages as can a saline spray. Over-the-counter medications can also help to treat your symptoms.[i]

[i] Canadian Red Cross. Available: https://www.redcross.ca/training-and-certification/first-aid-tips-and-resources/first-aid-tips/flu-prevention. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

What to Do When You Have the Flu

Resting and staying hydrated should always be your top priorities when you have the flu. Over-the-counter medications may help alleviate some symptoms. Be sure to speak with your local pharmacist to ensure that you have found the right solution for your condition. Be sure to avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco while you’re ill.[i]

If you don’t start feeling better within a few days or your symptoms are continually getting worse, call your health care provider or go to a clinic immediately.

[i] Understanding the Common Cold. Available: https://www.advil.ca/resources/article/understanding-common-cold-0?cid=261. Accessed: [2019-10-15].

Kenron Compounding Pharmacy 

Want more tips on how to stay healthy over the fall and winter months? Get in touch with us at Kenron Compounding Pharmacy. We specialize in compounding and supplements, to give our customers health solutions based on their individual needs. Drop in or book an appointment at either of our Calgary locations.

Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine to prevent catching a cold. There are a number of steps you can take, however, to prevent getting sick

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