So far in this year's flu season, 23 people have already been hospitalized in Colorado. Unfortunately, we all know that diseases spread more quickly when we spend more time in airports and group gatherings, which makes this festive time of year a bit dangerous.
If you want to avoid catching a nasty bug at the mall or a holiday party, here are five tips from the CDC that will boost your immune system and protect your body.
1. Stay hydrated, especially while traveling. While making your way to visit family and friends, drinking water isn't usually a priority. However, low cabin humidity on airplanes can seriously deplete your body's water supply, leaving you with headaches and a lowered immune system. Carry a water bottle around with you as you travel so you can continuously flush toxins out of your body and keep headaches and other ailments at bay.
2. Disinfect the items you touch frequently. How often do you wipe down your office desk with disinfectant? What about your phone? Most people check their phone screens at least 300 times a day, which can make it one of the dirtiest objects you touch. During this time of year, try to sanitize items you come in contact with often, like door handles, table surfaces, remotes and electronic devices.
3. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and face. Regardless of how often you sanitize your hands, occasionally touching your face gives germs the opportunity to enter your body. Avoid wiping your mouth, scratching your eyes, or touching any part of your face unless your hands have recently been washed with soap.
4. Wash your hands often - and correctly. I'm sure you're tired of everyone talking about washing your hands. It seems like such a simple thing, but in reality, most people aren't washing their hands often enough or long enough. This CDC guide dictates that you should scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, making sure to get under your nails and between your fingers. Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of disease, so take it seriously.
5. Get your flu vaccination. Although the CDC recommended that everyone get immunized before Halloween, it's not too late to protect yourself. The flu vaccine can lower your risk of going to the doctor with the flu by 40 to 60 percent, which certainly decreases your chances of letting influenza ruin your holiday season.