What Are the Odds of Getting the Flu?

flu virusMeet Mr. Influenza — he is difficult to see because he sneaks quietly and swiftly among us.  Each year millions of Americans miss time at  work and at school due to Influenza (Flu) and the common cold. Up to 20% of the U.S. population will contract the Flu or a cold this year. That equates to roughly 63.3 million people. Of these 63.3 million, up to 200,000 may be severe cases requiring hospitalization. For those with underlying medical conditions, the very young and the very old, the outcome may even be death.  Flu season is considered to be from October through May, peaking in February.

How Do You Protect Yourself?

Here are three ways to protect yourself and stay ahead of the Influenza virus this upcoming 2013-2014 flu season.


The Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division at CDC collects, compiles and analyzes information on influenza activity year round in the United States and produces FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report. The U.S. influenza surveillance system is a collaborative effort between CDC and its many partners in state, local, and territorial health departments. This collaborative effort  monitors what areas are suffering the most from flu outbreaks. Using detailed maps you can quickly see what regions are suffering from a influenza outbreak thereby protecting yourself and your family.  Check out a sample map below.

CDC Flu Season Map

This map shows flu-like symptoms by state for the 2011-2012 Influenza season in the week ending February 17, 2012.

Keep Germs Away from the Body

Once you have identified if your particular state or region is reporting Influenza-like symptoms, it is time to protect your body. Most flu germs are spread in two ways:

  1. Direct contact – Shaking hands is one of the most common ways of contracting the flu. The average person shakes hands multiple times a day.
  2. Droplet spread – Germs ride along on tiny water bubbles that are sneezed or coughed into the air and inhaled by others.

So what can you do to protect yourself other than live in a giant plastic bubble? If possible, avoid hand shakes. This will dramatically lower the possibility of contracting a virus. Instead bow or give a polite head nod. See the demonstration below.

Head No instead of hand shake

Cigarette optional however not advised. If possible, try and not look as menacing.

Simple enough right? Also, listen to your mother and don’t pick your nose. The nose is a breeding ground for germs and often the first place germs enter the body. Children often pick their noses, rub their eyes, and then touch someone else, in that order. So be aware and keep your fingers out of your nose.

Sneeze into a disposable handkerchief and teach children to sneeze into their elbow by covering their mouth and nose. We can all lower the occurrence of flu like symptoms by ensuring we are aware of our actions and protect each other. If you see someone coughing or sneezing, it may be in your best interest to maintain a safe distance and avoid crowded or poorly ventilated rooms. Stagnant air is a major cause of our flu season since most of us have our windows and doors closed due to the cold weather. Also our immune system weakens with drops in temperature. That takes us to our next topic.

Immune-boosting Foods and Supplements

The best foods to build a strong immune system are not donuts, cupcakes, and bagels, no matter how bad much you crave a sugar fix. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and seafood provides the nutrients your body needs to fight off invaders. Luckily for us, there are supplements available to provide an extra boost to your immune system.

The most popular and highly recognized immune-boosting supplement is vitamin C. Beware — not all vitamin C supplements are created equal. Many of the popular brands such as Emergen-C, Ester-C, and Airborne have a dirty secret. Traditional pills and powders succumb to digestive barriers thereby reducing the vitamin C that actually enters your body. Many of these supplements claim to have 1,000 mg of vitamin C or another nutrient however not all of that gets into your system.

For those looking for a more advanced supplement, I would recommend looking into Lypo-Spheric or  liposomal  technology. These technologies utilize pharmaceutical technology to deliver the entire 1,000 mg of vitamin C into your bloodstream.

Let’s face it, your health is money. Poor health results in:

  • More doctor visits
  • Medical bills
  • Medication costs
  • Loss of work
  • Loss of school

Why not pay for a quality supplement and save money on these expenses. As my mother always said “Proactive rather than reactive”…okay I made that up just now but it sounds like something she would say.

For more tips on vitamin C supplements read Vitamin C


Written by Felipe Gonzales. Posted in Flu and Cold Prevention, Liposomal Vitamin C, Vitamin C Facts

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Comments (1)

  • 09/09/2014 at 8:42 PM |

    When I started vitamins at 32 to today 83 years old, I have not had a cold or flu or any illness. …dez…

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