December is upon us once again. Although this month is more popularly associated with holiday cheer, it is also associated with the less cheery, sneezy, sniffly, sore throat inducing time of year. That’s right, flu season is upon us, people! December 6-12 is considered National Influenza Vaccination Week, which highlights the importance of the flu vaccination. As long as the flu virus is spreading and causing illness, making the choice to get vaccinated can provide you with protection against the flu. What’s good about the flu vaccination is that it protects against three to four different strains of the flu, therefore if you haven’t been vaccinated but have already succumbed to the influence of an influenza virus, you can still be protected against the other strains by getting vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated and stress the importance of high-risk individuals getting the vaccination. People who are considered high risk include young children, pregnant women, people dealing with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people who are 65 years or older.

These are the facts, but the decision of whether or not to get vaccinated is ultimately yours. Regardless, we’d still like offer a few helpful tips that you can incorporate into your daily life to stay healthy throughout this infectious season.

Wash your hands often. This has been drilled into us since we were kids and with a good reason. We use our hands for everything and we don’t know the cleanliness of every surface we have come in contact with. Also, washing your hands after every sneeze and cough is not just a recommendation, it’s mandatory behavior. However, you may not always have immediate access to wash your hands so if possible try to cough into the bend in your arm or the fabric on your shirt to decrease the spread of germs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Touching our face after coming in contact with germs is the best way to get sick so try to avoid contact when you are in a public place that can house many germs.

Avoid crowds and people you know are sick. If you are sick you should stay home and avoid contact with the frail, elderly, and young children.

Clean your cell phone screen regularly. We use our cell phones everyday and they come in contact with all kinds of germ infested surface. Cell phones are a breeding ground for germs. Invest in some screen-friendly disinfecting wipes. You won’t regret it!

Did you know that you have Direct Access to Physical Therapy? No referral is needed. We offer the best Physical Therapy on Long Island where you can get help from our trusted and expert Physical Therapists. We have several locations on Long Island including Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh and Lindenhurst. To start your Physical Therapy evaluation, call Advance Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance at (516) 568-4444.