Flu season has begun to pick up and already some states are reporting widespread cases. Those states include Virginia, New York, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama, according to the report released Dec. 30 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This year's flu vaccine is a good match to this year's flu strain, which means the shot is said to be highly effective. The CDC said if Americans haven't received their flu shot yet, it's not too late.
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, strengthening the immune system is another way to fight the flu. That means getting plenty of rest, eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and properly managing stress. Exercise is a great stress-reliever.
Having clean hands is also an excellent way to prevent germs from spreading.
People are contagious a full 24 hours before they start experiencing symptoms and can remain contagious a full week after that.
Health officials said about 23,6000 flu-related deaths occur every year.