Flu season round-up: Tips and how to prepare

Flu season runs from October through May each year. Take the time to educate yourself on the flu, how to avoid it and what to do if you end up catching it. In this article:

  • What's new with the flu?
  • Ways to ward off the virus and keep symptoms at bay.
  • Advice on when to seek medical help.

[4 MIN READ]

This year, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have distributed 116 million doses of the flu vaccine in preparation for a heavy wave that may be even earlier than years past. We’ve gathered some helpful information to give you confidence going into flu season, arm you with ways to avoid it and prepare you for what to do if you end up catching it.

What’s new with the flu?

This year, according to the CDC, all regular-dose flu shots will be “quadrivalent,” meaning they are designed to match four of the most popular strains of the flu. This approach, compared to past years that have only included two to three strains, is aimed at better matching the viruses that are circulating and is expected to be more effective. If you haven’t already gotten your flu shot, now’s a great time to do it. Learn more.

Ways to ward off the flu

We already know that hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs. But getting a flu shot and finding ways to boost your immune system can also help you avoid catching the dreaded influenza virus when you are exposed. Find out more.

How to keep flu symptoms at bay

The flu often mimics a terrible cold, but then takes a turn for the worse. It’s a respiratory disease caused by viruses that infect your throat, nose and lungs. It causes symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and basically makes you feel terrible all over. If you happen to catch the flu, here are some ways to keep those symptoms at bay.

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Flu: What to do if you get sick (CDC)

When to seek medical help

Most people who contract the flu will see it run its course in 7-10 days like a typical virus. If you have a high risk of developing flu-related complications because of a compromised immune system or other health condition, it’s important to contact your doctor immediately when flu-like symptoms show up. Find out ways to differentiate between a cold and the flu and when to seek help.

Find a doctor

Find a doctor that can help you during this flu season. Search for one in our provider directory. Or use one of the regional directories below:

Alaska

California

Montana

Oregon

Washington

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Body & Mind Team is dedicated to providing medically-sound, data-backed insights and advice on how to reach and maintain your optimal health through a mixture of exercise, mindfulness, preventative care and healthy living in general.

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