Flu Season is upon us. Before you know it, the temperature will plummet, and the season when flu flourishes will be here.

Being exposed to others who have colds or the flu is tough to avoid, however. There are several proactive measures you can take, to reduce your chances of becoming sick with the flu this year.

Ten Ways to Combat the Flu

1. Get a Flu Vaccine – Many local pharmacies offer flu shots, making it more accessible. Most insurance plans will cover the cost.
2. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
3. Use a tissue to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and be sure to throw the tissue away after you use it.
4. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose or mouth so germs don’t spread.
5. Make sure you maintain your healthy lifestyle: healthy diet, exercise and plenty of rest.
6. Avoid crowds if you can, and stand far away from anyone displaying symptoms of illness.
7. If you become ill, stay at home until 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
8. Keep a “flu survival kit” on hand: over-the-counter medications as approved by your doctor, tissues, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer
9. Maintain your medication schedule unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
10. Keep a written record of the type of cancer you have, treatment you have received and when you received it, the name and contact information for your doctor and a list of medicines you are taking.

If you have the following symptoms, notify your doctor:

• Earache or drainage from your ear
• Pain in your face or forehead along with thick yellow or green mucus for more than a week
• Any temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in an infant less than 3 months of age
• Temperature higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit in older children or adults
• Hoarseness, sore throat, or a cough that will not go away
• Wheezing
• Vomiting
• Persistent or worsening symptoms

Go to the doctor immediately if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, confusion, seizure, fainting, or difficulty staying awake.

For further information on receiving a flu shot, contact your doctor or go to the American Cancer Society’s website.