Survivor: The New Flu Season

Published January 1, 2005

One way to be a flu survivor is to start by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit each day, going for regular walks, and avoiding too much alcohol all make it easier for your body to resist any kind of infection, including colds and flu.

Keep your distance from people with the flu. The germs are coughed and sneezed into the air you share with other people. It helps to avoid enclosed crowded places. If you have the flu, it’s best to be considerate of others and stay home.

Reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu by washing your hands frequently. Using warm water and soap removes germs better than a quick rinse with cold water. Encourage other family members to do the same. The flu can spread through a household like a brush fire.

It’s also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands–these are all ways germs can get into your body.

While most people don’t need a flu shot, it’s recommended for people over age 65; people with a chronic disease affecting their heart or lungs, or who have diabetes or kidney problems, or who take certain drugs that affect the immune system; and people who care for the sick.

Check with your doctor or local health clinic if you are not sure.

IT’S YOUR HEALTH is written by Conrad Meier, senior fellow in health policy at The Heartland Institute. This program is produced as a public service by Radio America . Meier passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2005.