Your Health Oct.-9 Keeping colds and flu at bay - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health Oct.-9 Keeping colds and flu at bay

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If you haven't already heard the sounds of the season: sniffles, sneezes and coughs, get ready.  It is Fall and we are on the brink of cold and flu season .

Your best defense against the flu is to be vaccinated.

Keeping colds at bay isn't always easy, but certainly you need to keep your defenses up.

Studies have shown people who exercise routinely contract fewer colds.

Wash your hands frequently to kill any virus or bacteria you may pick up during the day.

Also, avoid touching your mouth or eyes with your hands as much as possible.

And a healthy diet will provide the vitamins and minerals you need to build a strong immune system.

If it's too late and you feel a cold coming on, all is not lost. Health experts suggest you try zinc lozenges.

Dr. Michael Benninger of the Cleveland Clinic says, "They bind to the viral particles and help prevent some of the replication. It won't prevent you from getting a cold, but it may make your cold less severe and last not quite as long."

Your doctor may also prescribe the use of an intra-nasal steroid spray to decrease the effects of a cold.

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