CN Digital StudioJD Rinne, SELF magazine
Influenza has hit hard nearly five weeks earlier than usual, with 41 states reporting intense flu outbreaks, and Boston's mayor declaring a public health emergency.
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While the flu shot is your best bet to avoid contracting the virus, it's only so effective. The good news is that there are everyday measures to further help prevent getting sick, says SELF's Contributing Expert, Dr. Henry S. Lodge.
Get plenty of rest. Dr. Lodge says that sleep will help your immune system fight off germs--but you've got to give it a chance! So rest up tonight.
You can still get a flu shot. The American Lung Association has a flu vaccine finder.
If you've got a fever, see your doctor within 48 hours and get a nasal swab or rapid flu test. Because this test doesn't require blood, you'll get results faster and your doctor can start you on a drug that'll help with symptoms. If you don't have a fever, remain calm--it's probably just a cold.
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Be kind to your housemates. And we don't mean by sharing the remote. If you have the flu, you're putting them at higher risk for it too, so get them to see a doctor for preventative drugs. [Ed Note: And if you've gotta sneeze, cover that mouth!]
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