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Sore throat, coughing, sneezing, aches… it’s already happening… your co-worker, your kid, your neighbor, everyone around you is sick. The cold and flu season has started early. Those in the medical profession say that influenza A aka H3N2 is spreading fast and early. We haven’t seen it since the 2003/2004 season which was a particularly bad flu season.
We’re most contagious the first few days we have symptoms, however, we can even be contagious 24 hours before the first sign of cold symptoms and up to 4 days before flu symptoms appear so it’s not easy to avoid the nasty little germs but there are measures you can take to prevent or at least lessen the severity.
1) Drink up
You’ve heard it before but it’s sage advice: stay hydrated, it helps ease a stuffy nose and sore throat and helps flush out those germs.
2) Gargle with warm salt water
The saline solution has a sanitizing effect that helps flush out viruses and bacteria and clears mucous and irritants, it also reduces inflammation by drawing out excess water from throat tissue. Saline nasal spray (non-medicated) and nasal irrigation systems like a neti pot (when used with the proper solution, not just tap water) help ease congestion and clear out sinuses.
3) Coat your throat with honey