Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

It’s the start of a new year and a new cold and flu season.

Here are some preventative measures you can take to reduce your chance of getting sick and reduce spreading germs:

Get Your Flu Shot

The best way to limit the spread of the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Although the vaccine will not cover every strain every year, it can prevent you from getting sick from the flu. It has been shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu. Even in those who get sick from the flu, the vaccine often reduces the severity of the disease.

Use Your Elbow

Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and not into your hands. Coughing and sneezing into your hands is a surefire way to spread germs since these germs will be left behind on anything you touch such as doorknobs, stair railings and light switches. If you use a tissue, be sure to promptly throw away used tissues and wash your hands.

Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands often with soap and water. A quick rinse under the water won’t cut it. It takes 60 seconds of active rubbing with soap to properly wash your hands; about the time it takes you to sing the Birthday song. In a pinch, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used but it still requires you to rub your hands together.

Keep Your Hands Off Your Face

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands. And think twice about putting things like pens or pencils in your mouth in an attempt to free up your hands.

Clean and Disinfect

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, light switches, and counters and always disinfect areas where an ill person has been.

Use a Dehumidifier

Cold winter air is dry and when heated for our comfort, it makes it air even drier. Dry air inhaled through the nose will dry out the mucus in the nose. This mucus acts as a defense against cold viruses. It traps them and propels them down to our stomachs where they are killed. Since dry mucus doesn’t carry them through the nose as fast as moist mucus, the viruses stay in our nose longer. The longer the virus is in the nose, the more chance for it to penetrate the lining of the nose and start an infection.

Stay Home

If you’re sick, stay home if possible to limit exposing others. If you’re actively coughing or sneezing and staying home isn’t an option, wear a mask to reduce spreading germs through the air.

See a Doctor

If you don’t feel better in 7- 10 days, your symptoms are severe or unusual, you have a persistent fever or you feel worse especially after beginning to feel better, it’s important to see a doctor and have your symptoms evaluated.


At Advanced Specialty Care, our Ear, Nose & Throat physicians are available for adult and pediatric acute care on a same day, call-in basis at most of our locations in Fairfield and Litchfield County. We also treat problems of the head and neck, including ear infectionstonsillitissleep apneadeviated septum, silent reflux and work side by side with Allergy & Asthma specialists, Audiologists and more.

If you have questions about or would like to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient office locations in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield or Southbury, please call our office at (203) 830-4700 or simply click here to fill out an appointment request form

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Topics: Allergy & Asthma, Blog, Ear, Nose & Throat