Hello again, cold and flu season

The days are shorter, the weather colder, and every time you step into an elevator at least one person is sniffling. It’s that time of year! The season might be unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy.

  • Wash your hands. Seriously, this is one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy and it makes a real impact. Wash your hands with soap and warm water throughout the day. Be sure to wash your hands after touching communal surfaces, like doorknobs, counters, or things like grocery baskets and carts.
  • If you’re under the weather stay home. This one can be tricky, I have spent many years being that person, who comes into work sniffling and coughing, so I get it. But doing this risks getting other people ill as well, and you could use the rest. The flu can be no joke, every year Canadians end up in the hospital because of influenza. For small children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses the flu can be extremely serious. Because of this it is very important to make sure we do what we can to reduce the spread.
  • Keep germs to yourself. Sharing is great, just not when it’s the cold or flu. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze into a tissue. Wash your hands as soon as you can after.
  • Keep other germs at bay. Remember that germs can live on surfaces for 48 hours so take time to disinfect common surfaces in your home and work like keyboards, light switches – and don’t forget your phone! When someone in your household gets sick, make sure things like utensils, towels and dishes are properly cleaned.
  • If it’s right for you, get the flu shot. Talk with your healthcare provider about getting the flu shot.
  • If you’re sick, get plenty of rest and fluids. We’ve all heard this one before, but it’s good advice.
  • Not feeling well? Figure out if you have the cold or the flu – this chart can help demystify what’s making you feel miserable.
Prevention is the best way to make it through this germy time of year. But if you are sick, remember to take it easy, catch up on that show everyone is talking about, drink some tea and stay home!  

Related stories:
What do you know about flu and cold? Take the test
5 thinks I’ve learned about having the flu
Fall survival guide

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