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What to Do About the Flu?

Patch readers and medical professionals share tips about battling the seasonal flu.

Like a winter storm, flu season is heading our way.

The flu appears to be the worst in four years in California, according to early data from the Centers for Disease Control. The 2012-13 flu season in California has reached a moderate-to-high level, the most severe since a huge spike in flu activity was reported in late fall of 2009.

In the San Fransisco Bay Area, flu activity is moderate around San Fransisco and San Jose, and low in the East Bay, according to the CDC. That's much better than areas of the South and Northeast, where flu activity is high or even intense.

But the flu likes to travel via planes and trains during the holiday season, so prepare yourself. We asked Patch readers via Facebook to share their best advice.

The No. 1 suggestion from Patch Facebook fans was to get a flu shot. That's what experts recommend as well and, earlier this month, more than one-third of U.S. residents had received the influenza vaccine.

But if you aren't in that vaccinated group or you—heaven forbid—are but get sick anyway, here are some tips to stay healthy and beat the flu bug fast.

A reader in Pacifica suggested "Extra vit D, probiotics, organic apple cider vinegar, super foods...always good to boost your immune system naturally."

Rex, from Menlo Park-Altheron Patch, recommended green juice and lots of water.

Rhonda, a Palo Alto Patch reader, said she got a bug last week. Staying home to rest helped her feel better.

Kelli, a Redwood City-Woodside Patch reader, said she's getting a lot of sleep and remembering to wash her hands often.

Vicks, the cold and cough medicine producer, has lots of information about the illness on its website. Learn about the cycle of a cold or how differentiate between symptoms of a cold, the flu and allergies.

Tell us in comments: how do you stay healthy during flu season? Got any advice on how to speed up recovery if you do get sick, like a great chicken noodle soup recipe or immune-boosting tea?

David Eller December 14, 2012 at 07:18 PM
1. Drink LOTS of water! You'll still feel sick but will be functional instead of weak and too spacey -- and you will be dramatically safer and less likely to get serious complications! Set a couple times early in the day to have extra water for sure and then every time you need to visit the bathroom after that, immediately drink water to restore what you just lost. That helps you be sure to remember! 2. If you aren't already, take a total of 4,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 (and 2,000 to 3,000 is the real minimum needed for good health the rest of the year.) Recent research found that your immune system uses vitamin D3 the way soldiers use ammunition. So, if you want your immune system to beat up the flu virus well and soon, be sure to do this! (Other research found that taking this much vitamin D3 when you get your flu shot and the first few weeks after that makes the flu shot more likely to prevent you from getting the flu!)
Cliff Keith December 14, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I get a flu shot in September or October as soon as they are available. They work for me. If I feel a cold coming on I place a zinc tablet under my tongue and let it dissolve... yuck for taste but it works...FYI have food on stomach or you get a tummy ache.
Beatrice Karnes December 14, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I also get a flu shot every year. I have not had the flu since I was a child, so I genuinely recommend it.
Drew Himmelstein December 14, 2012 at 08:59 PM
As the mother of an infant, you can bet I got my flu shot!
Dawnatilla TheHun December 15, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Oh my God you sheep!! You have the internet.Google whats in those vaccines !!!@@ I dare you !!! What to so about the flu???? Mankind has been ok work the seasonal flu for centuries . Get sick..GET OVER IT !!!

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