Although you may be worrying about coronavirus, where 53 cases have been confirmed in the U.S, you should also be on the lookout for the 29-million flu-related cases as well. Since the start of flu season 2019, there have been over 100 California residents diagnosed all over the state. The state has not seen early activity this high since 2009

Some people may not have been diagnosed yet, but thousands have felt the symptoms and pains of the virus. While just 53 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. (and 0 deaths), in just the second week of February alone, 53 people in California have died as a result of the flu.

Here are some of the most common flu symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Fever (sometimes)

If you find yourself feeling these symptoms, it may or may not be the flu, but don’t take this lightly. The flu can be very dangerous and severe. Luckily, in California, 48 hospitals ranked among the top 200 hospitals in America, so you are in a great area to be treated for your sickness.

As flu season continues, here are five tips to help you avoid getting the flu:

Regular exercise to break a sweat

Exercising your body not only keeps your body in good physical shape, but also strengthens your immune system too. Just walking or running for 30 minutes every day can result in a stronger immune system that can help fight off infections. 

Get a good night’s sleep 

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep for adults, and 9-10 for school-aged children, is very important. Adults who sleep an average of 5-6 hours per night are 4 times more likely to become sick than those who sleep at least 7 hours every night. A good night’s sleep helps boost your immune system, in the short and long run. Creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it is vital for you to be healthy.

Eat healthy

Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial to staying healthy. Most green, leafy vegetables have proteins in them that are beneficial to your health, whereas consuming a lot of sugar or processed food compromises a healthy body, which is necessary to fight off illness. Vitamin C is also a great addition to add to your daily food intake; it prevents illness and decreases the length and severity of sickness, should it happen.

Wash your hands frequently

We use our hands for everything. Rarely do we stop to think about how many germs they actually carry. Our hands are constantly transferring germs, whether it’s opening a door, counting money, or handing over a debit card or ID (which other people touch!); we then touch our phone screens, and eventually touch our face! So it’s safe to say, washing your hands is important. Washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time, before you eat, and after coughing or sneezing, reduces bacteria and prevents it from spreading to other people.  

Get the flu shot

The flu shot, although not always 100% effective, is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. The Influenza (flu) Virus evolves every year so it is important to get the shot yearly. The flu can be diagnosed at any time, not just during flu season, so it’s never too late to get this vaccine and protect yourself against outbreaks.