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Five Ways to Fight the Flu

By Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD, TeensHealth, 11/19/18, 12:00PM CST

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Flu viruses travel through the air, so try to stay away from people who look sick. Of course, people who have the flu virus don't always look sick.

The flu is annoying enough on its own. So it doesn't help that flu season falls at one of the most exciting times of the year. To avoid missing out on sports events, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving feasts, and holiday fun, follow these tips:

  1. Get the flu vaccine. It's the best way to protect yourself against the flu. Getting vaccinated doesn't just protect your own health. It also helps the people around you because there's less chance you'll catch the flu and pass it on.
  2. Wash your hands often. Hand washing is an important line of defense against germs like flu viruses. Why? The body takes about two weeks to build immunity after a flu vaccine — and even a vaccine isn't foolproof if a new strain of virus starts making the rounds. Hand washing also helps protect against other germs and illnesses that there aren't vaccines for, like the common cold.