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forms, the CDC recommends the shot as the preferred preventive method. Other preventive steps. Although it is not always practical or possible, avoiding contact with those infected with the flu virus is an important preventive measure. The flu is very contagious and is thought to be transmitted in the droplets of saliva or nasal mucus that occur from coughs and sneezes. Encouraging those who are ill to cover their mouths with their sleeves or elbows (not hands, where germs are most easily transmitted) and regularly and thoroughly washing your hands can help reduce your risk, as well. Treating the flu. Difficulty breathing, pain in the chest or abdomen, confusion, dizziness, severe vomiting and seizures are all indications that your illness requires immediate medical attention. Even if you aren’t experiencing these serious symptoms, you may benefit from a visit to the doctor, who can provide prescription antiviral drugs to shorten the length of your illness and help minimize the severity of symptoms. Other treatments include getting plenty of rest and preventing dehydration by drinking plenty of water or other clear fluids. Find more cold weather tips for healthy living at

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