How to avoid the flu before it strikes

By Alan Campbell email

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Coughing, sneezing and a runny nose is never any fun. These are just a few of the early symptoms that you may be getting the flu.

Experts say more than 400,000 people in South Carolina will come down with the illness. The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is by getting a flu shot, but if you don't get one, washing your hands thoroughly and often is the next best thing.

Experts say people touch as many as 500 different objects a day, but wash their hands only two or three times.

Last year in the Lowcountry approximately 10 percent, or 400,000 people, reported having flu-like symptoms.

So, how do you get the flu? It spreads through coughing and sneezing, but it also spreads by touching things that a sick person touched and contaminated, and then by touching your nose or mouth.

Symptoms usually start within 48 to 72 hours with a sudden fever, dry cough, headache and muscle aches.

Health experts say a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and exercise will help your immune system fight off any flu like symptoms. They also say to make sure you get plenty of rest and stay home if you are sick.

Remember to always cough into your sleeve and not into your hands. If you are sick, stay home and always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 30 seconds or more.

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