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Feature Story – Mayo Clinic

Six Ways to Stay Healthy and Avoid Cold and Flu

by Conrad Close

As the cold and flu season approaches, medical experts have some advice for people trying to stay healthy.

While there is no cure for either the common cold or the flu, doctors say that taking simple precautions and preparing can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick.

“Staying healthy begins with being healthy,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, the director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group. “What better way to protect against complications of illness than getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, and getting a flu vaccine?”

The Mayo Clinic, one of America’s leading healthcare providers, recommends six simple tips to stay healthy during this cold and flu season:

  • Stay away from sick people. This is not always possible, but do your best to avoid coming in close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm. Ask others in a polite way to do the same so they don’t spread germs.
  • Don’t put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth. Doing so is one of the most common ways cold and flu germs are spread.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Be a good co-worker – no one wants your germs.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer regularly is extremely important, especially when you’re out in public.
  • Get your flu and pertussis vaccines. Getting a flu shot is simple, easy, and often free at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

By following these practical tips, you can help decrease your risk of getting sick and keep those around you healthy as well. To learn more about cold and flu season and find more helpful resources, visit