There are also simple common-sense things you can do to protect yourself from the flu:
- Keep your distance, if possible, from people who have the flu, because the virus is spread when someone who has the flu coughs or sneezes.
- Wash your hands frequently to reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu; ordinary soap is sufficient. Antibacterial soaps add little protection, particularly against viruses. In fact, a recent study suggests that common liquid dishwashing soaps are up to 100 times more effective than antibacterial soaps in killing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is known to cause pneumonia.
- Avoid second-hand cigarette smoke, and if you smoke, try to quit.
- Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle to build your immunity by following a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water and keeping stress levels low. Eating fresh, dark-colored fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and other important food chemicals, may help boost the immune system.
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