Achoo! Your Guide to Staying Healthy During Flu Season!

Friday, January 15, 2016 | 8:49 pm

No one likes getting sick and, worse than that, no one likes hearing that there is no definitive cure for a cold or the flu. In addition to a eating a balanced diet, these tips may help you prevent and lessen the flu.

“It’s really, really hard to prevent yourself or someone else from getting the flu,” said Michael Miller, pharmacist in charge and owner of Webster’s Community Pharmacy (Webster’s) in Altadena. Despite this sobering fact, Miller says he follows the CDC’s recommendations for vaccinations for everyone six months and older.

“Basically, the cold season starts in early April, and peaks right now. Everybody is sick now. As such, I usually start administering flu vaccinations [at the] end of August, into September and October,” he said. Many people want to start earlier, however the flu vaccination usually gives one two to three months of protection.

In addition to getting a flu shot, the best prevention method is to simply wash your hands or to use a hand sanitizer when you cannot get to a sink. “Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds to a minute remembering that it’s important to lather the hands frequently with soap and warm water,” added Gloria Ko, community outreach pharmacist at Webster’s. Of course, if possible, it helps to avoid being around those who are sick and when sneezing, sneeze into your armpit of your elbow rather than your hand.

“Pharmacists are basically the front line of healthcare providers during the cold/flu season. Clients regularly come in asking for recommendations on what they can take to lessen their symptoms,” added Ms. Ko.

Pharmacists can suggest over-the-counter products to relieve cold and flu symptoms including: congestion, headache, runny nose and cough. Miller recommends vaporizers for a drug-free version and suggests orally disintegrating tablets for fast relief of symptoms. Homeopathic treatments such as Vitamin C, zinc tablets and Echinacea are also popular options with few side effects, however it’s important to check with your pharmacist to make sure there are no drug interactions with other drugs and vitamins you are currently taking..

For more advice on how to lessen your cold and flu symptoms or to get a flu vaccine, visit Webster’s Community Pharmacy at 2450 North Lake Avenue, Altadena. Call (626) 797-1163 or visit www.websterscommunitypharmacy.net for more information.

 

 

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