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iMD Health offers tips on how you can protect yourself this cold and flu season

This article was written in partnership with The Georgia Straight. For information on other illnesses and ailments, visit the Health Kiosk on the Straight’s website.

With all of the focus rightfully on COVID-19, many of us have forgotten that the dreadful flu and common cold are making their rounds. While we’re wearing masks and going through an alarming amount of hand sanitizer, there are further precautions that we should be taking.

To help you stay safe and healthy this flu season, iMD Heath is offering five lifestyle tips that can be followed year round.

Ease symptoms with medication

If you end up getting sick, prioritize sleep and pay close attention to what you put into your body. Swap the usual pizza and wine for broth-based soups, homemade juices, and lots of water.

To make the experience more tolerable, enlist a trusty over-the-counter medication to relieve some of your symptoms.

Visit the iMD Health app, to receive access to a coupon for Tylenol. These savings can be put toward a two-litre bottle of Schweppes ginger ale or ginger kombucha to fend off nausea.

Get the flu shot

Getting the flu shot is the single best way to avoid influenza. According to iMD Health, the flu shot offers protection against three or four of the viruses expected to be in circulation each flu season.

If you hate needles, just remember that being bedridden while you heave into your household’s designated puke bowl is a lot worse. Plus, you get a lollipop after the shot.

As noted on iMD Health’s It’s Flu Shot Season page, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age or older. To schedule a flu shot, contact your local pharmacy or clinic.

Stay warm

Bundling up in thick layers before heading out to brave winter’s chilly elements is essential.

If you happen to catch the cold or flu, avoid going into work and rest at home instead. Swaddle yourself in a few cozy throw blankets and crank up the temperature. Now, instead of focusing on keeping you warm, your body can focus on fighting a very important immune battle.

Wash your hands often

This seems obvious but you’d be surprised at how seldom people wash their hands on a daily basis. If you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with germ-covered hands, it’s game over.

As advised by the CDC, you should wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds each time in order to prevent the spread of germs.

Take vitamins

Along with following a healthy and nutrient-dense diet, taking specific vitamins on a regular basis can help fortify your immune system.

Taking vitamin C, D, and B6, along with zinc and magnesium daily will assist you in getting through cold and flu season.

For more information on how to avoid the flu, visit iMD Health’s Flu Prevention Tips page.

If you need help differentiating between the common cold and seasonal flu, click here

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