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Washing handsThe state Department of Health estimates that about five to 20 percent of Pennsylvanians get the flu each season. As of December 2017, there were widespread cases of influenza in at least half the regions of the state. This year’s flu season is certainly one to be aware of.

The flu is a very dangerous condition, even in today’s world of modern medicine. It is best to avoid it at all costs. If you take care of yourself during the height of flu season, you can reduce your chances of getting sick.

Go to the Doctor, Get a Flu Shot

If you have health insurance, your plan will likely cover a yearly physical, as well as routine care. Use your insurance plan to go to the doctor. Even if you haven’t paid the cost of your deductible, you can often receive many covered services, like a checkup. Talk to your insurance provider about how much you can expect to pay for care this early in the year. Staying healthy means that your body might be able to better resist the flu or other ailments.

While you’re at the doctor, ask if you can still get a yearly flu shot. Even late in the flu season, the vaccine can often reduce your chances of catching common strains of the flu. Most health insurance will cover flu shots free of charge. However, if you are sick or have already had the flu, the shot likely won’t help you.

Use Germ Prevention Techniques

We can all do our part to prevent the spread of germs and disease, even in public places.

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and hot water. Use alcohol-based sanitizers. Clean your hands after touching common-use or contaminated items, like trash cans in public restrooms.
  • Keep yourself clean. Don’t neglect to shower, brush your teeth, and observe careful hygiene. Keep a clean home and workspace, take out the garbage and prevent waste buildup. Sanitation can reduce the spread of germs.
  • Take all of your vitamins and prescription medication as required.
  • Dress warmly, eat well and maintain an exercise regimen. Take into account changes in temperature and weather to better protect yourself.

If you become sick, seek medical care immediately. Follow your doctor’s orders to rest, maintain hydration and take your medication. Do not go to work or socialize until your symptoms have completely subsided. By quarantining yourself, you can go a long way to helping reduce the spread of the flu.


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