The CDC says flu activity most commonly peaks in the US in January and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.
Health experts says it is not possible to predict how mild or severe the 2012-2013 segment will be. Judy Fulop, is a naturopathic practitioner at Northwestern Integrative Medicine. She offers some advice for the 2012 flu season and some reminders how to best protect yourself from catching the flu.
- The CDC and Northwestern Memorial Hospital recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months and older get a flu shot.
- There are not any worries of flu shot shortage at this time. Depending on the type, flu shots can cost between $30 and $45.
- What to do if you get the flu:
- It's important to make sure you get plenty of rest, fresh air and exposure to sunshine during the winter months to help build your immune system.
- If the flu is caught at the very onset, it is possible to prevent the viral infection from becoming a deeper problem.
- You can prevent or shorten the duration of the flu by use of various home bought herbs and supplements including: zinc lozenges, Throat Coat Tea, Throat Mist and Emergen-C. Certain herbs and syrups such as elderberry, pelargonium or other herb combinations which all stimulate the white blood cells at the level of the mucous membranes of the throat and the rest of the body.
- Keep in mind that certain foods that are high in sugar actually deplete the immune system.
- If the flu is caught after the initial onset, there are some old fashioned remedies that can be done with children and adults to stimulate the healing power of the body.
These include: warming socks, hot ginger tea, and old fashioned chicken soup.
- If symptoms continue or get worse, it's important to visit your doctor for antiviral medication or antibiotics. Always consult your primary physician with any questions.
- Homeopathic treatments:
- In addition to the treatments listed above, hand washing is essential. It's also important to sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue so someone near you is not infected. Foods such as ginger, garlic, onions, and carrots are also beneficial.
Contact Judy Fulop at www.nmpg.com/integrative-medicine