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Health

Gearing Up for Cold and Flu Season

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Winter is cold and flu season, and the Food and Drug Administration is offering advice and reminders for staying healthy. The number one recommendation for dodging the flu is to get a flu shot. Flu comes on suddenly, unlike a cold, and it lasts more than a few days. There is no vaccine for colds but you can reduce your risk of catching a cold by washing your hands frequently, with soap and water whenever possible. It's also important to avoid being around people who are sick, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and reduce stress. If you do get sick, the FDA suggests gargling with salt water to relieve a sore throat and using a cool-mist humidifier to break up congestion. It's also important not to drink alcohol or caffeine--they can leave you dehydrated.