Flu season right around the corner

When autumn brings chills, harried parents tell their children that leaving the house without a sweater will guarantee a sickness. However, understanding the characteristics of flu strains and colds may leave these parents at ease when their kids resist extra layers.

It does not matter how warm or cold you are, it will not affect whether or not you get sick.

Standing naked in a blizzard is just as likely to cause illness as sitting inside.

Mina Mukheriee, a veteran childcare provider and educator of 20 years, says that, “[People] get sick no matter how warm they are because colds and flus are viruses.”

In addition, going outside where viruses can be carried away by air circulation is actually good for preventing colds and flu strains.

On the other hand, whooping cough is both highly contagious and immune to temperature differences, making it easy to spread.

It is difficult to vaccinate against the whooping cough, since it wears off after just a few years. However, Mayo Clinic says most people recover from whooping cough with no problems.

When there are complications, they usually only pose a serious problem for infants. The only other threat this season is Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

This virus, like whooping cough, is a threat to infants and young children. The best way to fight against it is to vaccinate and keep infants away from places like schools, where viruses and bacteria are rife in the air.

For the rest of us, it is a matter of prevention, even though antiviral medicines are expensive and only reduce the severity of colds and flu illnesses. Antibiotics, meanwhile, have no effect on viruses at all.

There is not much a person can do to boost their immune system. Despite what health food companies and supplement providers would like everyone to believe, it is nearly impossible to boost immunity.

The Harvard Medical School points out in its recent publication called “The Truth About Your Immune System,” that “The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity.”

The best way to keep from getting sick is to live a healthy lifestyle by eating the right foods, exercising and getting enough rest.

The common misconception that Vitamin C and zinc may improve your immune system is not supported by any study to show their efficiency in preventing, treating or shortening colds or any other form of illness.

While it is definitely a good idea to have all the vitamins and minerals you need, ingesting tons of Vitamin C or any other vitamin will do nothing for your immune system.

There are not many ways to fight the battle against colds, flu complications, and other illnesses from the inside, but there are ways one can potentially fight from outside the body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has much to offer on preventing colds, such as washing hands often, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and using hand sanitizer.

If you can’t wash your hands often, hand sanitizer works just as well, and when you do cough or sneeze, press your mouth into a tissue or your elbow instead of your hands to avoid becoming bedridden and falling behind with school work.