By Sundeep Shah, MD
Premier Medical Associates
The Villages, Florida
It’s that time of year again when flu season is upon us and it is critical to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family. Following this simple blueprint can help keep you healthy and on track to beating the flu this season.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, spread through contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze and can cause mild to severe symptoms.
Common symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, fatigue and a dry cough, while more severe cases can include headaches, vomiting and confusion or disorientation. It is important to distinguish flu symptoms from those of other illnesses, such as the common cold or allergies. Watch out for factors such as fever, changes in mucus color and consistency, and body aches.
The following practices can help you develop and maintain a healthy respiratory system, which can protect you during flu season:
- Adopting good hygiene practices such as washing your hands regularly
- Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system
- Staying hydrated and avoiding sugary, processed and high-fat foods
- Incorporating regular exercise to keep your lungs healthy
- Practicing stress management, as stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness
Getting a flu shot is an important part of preparation for flu season. The vaccine helps build immunity in advance and is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. Individuals with pre-existing conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should get vaccinated, follow prescribed medications and undergo regular lung tests.
If you do become ill, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to discuss antiviral medication that can help reduce symptoms if taken within the first 24 hours.
By taking proactive measures, you can better protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. Practice good hygiene, get vaccinated and be sure to seek medical attention if needed. Consider taking vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc supplements to bolster your immune system, and remember that prevention is the best medicine.
Stay safe this flu season by following this simple blueprint and you will be well on your way to beating the flu.
Sundeep Shah, MD is a double board-certified physician in internal medicine and nephrology. Dr. Shah has been providing healthcare needs to The Villages, Florida residents for the last twelve years through Premier Medical Associates. He is fluent in English, French, Spanish, Gujarati and Hindi. Dr. Shah is currently accepting new patients at the Santa Barbara Blvd location.