Just as predictable as the changing of seasons, the arrival of the flu season is now upon us and we need to be informed and prepared. Passing through flu season unscathed is best done through adopting hygiene habits, strengthening your immune system, paying attention to symptoms and taking the right precautions.

Over the past two years, people, old and young, have gained awareness of how germs travel, and how we can stop their rampage around town through simple, inexpensive measures like mask wearing, physical distancing, and washing our hands frequently. Because of these measures, the 2020 flu season was the mildest flu season the world has seen in decades.. 

Mask wearing, physical distancing and not gathering in large groups were measures we took at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lot has changed since then. Now, we are over the brunt of the pandemic, and infection numbers have flattened out. That means mandatory mask mandates are no longer in force and we are starting to gather in larger numbers again. 

This flu season, more than ever, it is important for people to be vigilant in maintaining healthy hygiene habits like regular hand washing, not going out when you feel sick and being proactive to strengthen your immune system.

Strengthening your immune system comes from living a healthy lifestyle and adapting healthy daily habits. This includes eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting a good seven hours of sleep every night and avoiding bad habits like smoking and drinking excessive alcohol.

A discussion on strengthening your immune system is not complete without touching on the effect of supplemental vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C has long been hailed as a “go-to” vitamin to fight off colds and flu. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can help reduce infection and help your body fight off infection when it does bite. Zinc is an essential mineral that helps maintain a healthy immune system and helps decrease the duration and severity of viral symptoms. Vitamin D is also a great supplement to add to your flu season arsenal. Vitamin D is great to take now especially because with the weather changing and days getting shorter, our natural vitamin D supply from the sun is lessening.  According to a recent study from Harvard University, “vitamin D supplementation can help protect against acute respiratory infections”, especially daily or weekly doses over a long period of time.

Far superior to oral vitamin supplements, Vitamin IV Hydration is the most effective way to boost your body’s immune system. IV Vitamin Drip delivers essential vitamins and nutrients directly into the bloodstream, avoiding their premature breakdown in the GI tract. Read more about the benefits of the Vitamin Balance here and IV Vitamin Hydration here.

Over and above strengthening your immune system through effective hygiene habits and healthy lifestyle choices, getting the flu vaccine will give added protection against contracting the flu. The flu virus is constantly mutating, and scientists stay on top of the mutating virus by changing vaccines accordingly. The flu vaccine exposes your body to the virus, allowing your natural immune system to develop antibodies to fight the infection with added efficiency.

This year people are especially confused over the difference between the seasonal flu and COVID-19 because both viruses display very similar symptoms. According to the CDC, the difference between the yearly flu and COVID-19 is that COVID-19 “seems to spread more easily than the flu…and compared to the flu COVID-19 can cause more serious illness in some people…” Because the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are so similar, the CDC recommends people get tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms as there is no way to tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu just based on symptom evaluation.  Symptomatic differences between COVID-19 and the flu are: Symptoms of COVID-19 take a few days longer to manifest than the flu, and those with COVID-19 may be contagious for a few days longer than those infected with the flu. 

Similar to COVID-19, the flu is more serious for the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. One key difference between COVID-19 and the flu is the long lasting effects of COVID-19, more commonly known as “Long COVID”. Long COVID is the effect of COVID-19 which continues for weeks and months after the initial illness clears up. Long COVID symptoms can include a cough or breathlessness as well as long lasting fatigue.

At Synergy Health in New Jersey, we take time to advise our patients to create optimal healthy habits that suit their unique lifestyle and medical profile. These healthy habits are the cornerstone to having a strong immune system that can crush the flu virus if it comes. Synergy Health Advisors in New Jersey is your stop for added protection against the flu, be it IV Hydration or the flu shot. Book your appointment at Synergy Health Advisors today, and take a step forward to avoid the flu this year.