Traditional stance: Prevention is the best medicine |

Traditional stance: Prevention is the best medicine

Melinda Dudley

For those who are more conventionally minded, getting an annual influenza vaccine still is one of the best ways to prevent coming down with the flu this winter.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association recommends the flu shot for everyone ages six months to 18 years old, or older than 50, as well as anyone who spends a lot of time around children or the elderly and anyone with a high-risk condition that might make them more susceptible to infection, the VNA’s Diane Kelly said.

“So basically, everyone should get a flu shot,” Kelly said.

The VNA also recommends that elderly individuals be vaccinated against pneumonia, a one-time shot for those older than 50, Kelly said.

To avoid spreading germs this winter, wash your hands frequently for at least 30 seconds, cut down on unnecessary handshakes and touching, and keep your hands away from your eyes and face.

Although everyone has always been taught to “cover your mouth when you sneeze,” avoid using your hands to do so, Kelly said.

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“When you cough or sneeze, cough into a tissue or your elbow – keep the germs off your hands,” Kelly said. “That’s a new one.”

Although no one wants to miss a powder day, if you’re coming down with the flu or the sniffles, rest is best.

“If you’re sick, stay home,” Kelly said. “You’ll get better, faster, and limit exposure to others.”