Since the CDC has encouraged everyone to get their flu shot before Halloween, we know that the 2018-2019 flu season is just around the corner. Last year's season was brutal, and this year, we're hoping to keep hospitalizations low by preparing ahead of time.
Not only should you get your vaccine to lower your risk by 40 to 60 percent, but you should also keep these items on hand to minimize the effects of the illness if you do contract it.
1. A working thermometer. One of the first signs of the flu is a fever, and if you can properly check your temperature, you can head to the clinic for Tamiflu sooner.
2. Fever reducers. Should you develop a high fever, you'll want to switch back and forth between Ibuprofen and Tylenol.
3. Plenty of tea. Whether you're dealing with a nauseous stomach or a congested chest, there's a tea out there to soothe your symptoms.
4. Clorox. You don't want everyone in the family falling ill after one person gets the flu. Use disinfectant wipes to de-germ TV remotes, door handles, and bathroom surfaces.
5. Decongestants. One of the biggest reasons people end up hospitalized after getting the flu is because their chest becomes congested and they develop other problems like pneumonia. Pop those decongestant pills, like Sudafed and Mucinex, to clear up your chest and stay safe.
6. Cough drops. Flu patients commonly develop gross, unceasing coughs. Keep cough drops nearby so you can medicate at the first sign of congestion.
7. Chicken noodle soup. It never hurts to keep a few cans of Progresso squirreled away in the back of the pantry. You'll be glad you did when you need the soup to soothe inflammation or sore throats.
8. Hand sanitizer. When someone gets the flu, they may be too sick to get off the couch, but they still need to disinfect their hands after coughing and sneezing.
9. Tissue boxes (preferably the lotion kind). Using paper towels on a tender runny nose is pretty much the equivalent of rubbing sandpaper on burnt skin.
10. Gatorades. When the flu invades, people tend to get dehydrated, which is a high risk for hospitalization. Keep drinks in the fridge that are high in electrolytes.
How are you preparing for the flu season? Let us know in the comments below.