It is that time of year when we find ourselves reaching for the tissue box. With winter comes an increase in cold and flu season. Flu symptoms include runny nose, cough, body aches and pain, and fever. The flu is spread when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes and droplets spread in the air. You are also at risk if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. A person with the flu is contagious 1 day before developing symptoms and for 5 to 7 days after becoming ill

The Center for Disease Control makes the following recommendations to avoid getting the flu:

  1. Get a yearly flu shot.
  2. Avoid having close contact with someone who is sick.
  3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol based cleanser.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  5. Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that can become easily contaminated.
  6. If you get the flu, stay home until you are free from a fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications).