Skip to content

    Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

    Stop the Spread of Cold and Flu Germs

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    continued...

    For the best protection, get the flu vaccine when it comes out each year in October or November. But even later is better than not at all. It takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect, and flu season can last into March or April.

    Keep your distance. If possible, stay away from people who have a cold or the flu. If you can't -- because you're caring for a sick family member, for instance -- step up your hand-washing routine and your attention to other defenses against germs.

    Take care of yourself. Experts think that healthy living may help boost your immune system. So make sure you eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

    Stay home when you're sick. If you go to school or work when you don't feel well, you can make a lot of people sick. Although a cold or flu might not be a big deal for you, it can be serious for people with weak immune systems, like young children, the elderly, and anyone with a long-term health problem.Working while you're sick isn't good for you, either. It can make it harder for your body to fight off a cold. So do what's best for you and everyone else. Take a couple of days off.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 26, 2015
    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    hot toddy
    15 tips to help you feel better.
    man sneezing into elbow
    Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
     
    teen girl coughing
    Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
    elder berry
    Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
     
    Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
    Slideshow
    cold weather
    VIDEO
     
    Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
    Article
    Boy holding ear
    Slideshow
     
    woman receiving vaccine shot
    Article
    woman with fever
    Article
     
    Waking up from sleep
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Slideshow