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Flu Season Prep Should Include Having Your Doctor's Phone Number Handy

It can make all the difference when you're sick

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You’ve done everything right — practiced healthy habits, avoided germs and have been diligent about good handwashing.

Even so, viruses lurk everywhere and most people succumb to the flu sooner or later, especially considering influenza activity can often last well into spring.

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According to Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist in the influenza division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s one thing that almost everyone can do to help prevent coming down with it.

“The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated,” she said.

If you still end up getting sick, Brammer suggests taking precautions like staying home to limit the spread of the virus and seeking prompt medical care if you suffer from certain medical conditions like asthma or diabetes.

People at high risk for flu complications — including pregnant women, adults 65 years and older and children under the age of 2 — should also seek medical care, as well as anyone whose symptoms don’t improve over time.

For everyone else, when the flu has got you down, get plenty of rest and stay hydrated by drinking fluids. And what is perhaps the most important thing? Having your healthcare provider’s contact information ready or the location of the nearest walk-in clinic handy.

Even if you’re not in a high-risk group, the flu can sometimes cause serious complications like pneumonia and other life-threatening conditions.

Having your doctor’s number readily available or knowing where to go ahead of time if you or someone in your household needs urgent care, can make all the difference during cold and flu season.

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You can also be prepared by stocking up on these essential items to have in your house when the flu strikes.