Don’t let the flu beat you down

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report outlining the severity of the flu this year and declaring it had reached epidemic status.While that sounds serious, there are still ways for you to ward off the flu and stay healthy this season.

The flu is particularly troublesome for children under 5 — and especially under 2 — and for adults over 65. If you, or someone you care for, fall within either group, you’ll need to be a little more prepared than the average person.

Ways to stay healthy during flu season:

Get a flu shot. While flu shots may not protect against every strain of flu going around, it can ease your symptoms so they aren’t as severe. If you’ve had the flu, you know feeling a little better is better than feeling worse!

Know your germ zones. If you touch it, other people have touched it. That means doorknobs,ATMs, the gas pump, the pen at the bank, etc. Be aware of these areas where people routinely come in contact with one another.A sleeve, or a palmful of hand sanitizer, can help keep you away from harmful flu germs in public spaces.

Wash your hands. Use warm water and soap, and take your time! Hand washing protects you from a variety of viruses and bacteria like the flu and the common cold. Keep it clean. We mean everything! Your hands, your desk and even your home can harbor flu viruses, depending on who’s been there. Countertops, desktops, coffee pots, telephones and other commonly touched areas should be cleaned with disinfectant or wipes.

Keep your distance. Staying away from people who are sick is another way to make sure you’re healthy throughout flu season.A few feet of space between you and sickness is enough to keep you healthy.

Don’t let the flu get you down this season. Take reasonable precautions and get a flu shot.

Article supplied by Doctors Express Urgent Care. Doctors Express Urgent Care in South Plainfield is a state-of-theart urgent care center open extended hours seven days a week.Walk-ins are welcome, most insurance plans are accepted, and they offer a comprehensive suite of in-house services that include digital x-rays and on-site lab testing.All patients are treated by board-certified physicians. It is located at 907 Oak Tree Ave., Oak Park Commons (near the Super A&P) in South Plainfield. For information, call 908-222-3500. Doctors Express is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.