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Fighting the Flu at Any Age

June 23, 2017

This year, when it comes to the flu, make offense your best defense. This infographic has your game plan—from getting your flu shot, to what to eat to build up your resistance, it gives you the best strategies to be healthier during flu season.

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Your Best Defense? The Flu Vaccine.

It’s best to get your annual flu shot by November. Children 8 and younger might need two doses 28 days apart, while the 65-plus crowd may opt for a higher-dose shot that is 25 percent more effective than the normal one. Most health plans have 100% coverage for flu shots—so get your flu shot!

Munch Your Way to Immunity
  • Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables boost your immune system.
  • A cup of chicken soup at the first sign of illness could help ward off the flu. Sipping warm soup also helps soothe a sore throat.
  • Fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks and other vitamin D-rich foods can reduce your chances of getting sick.
Germ Fighting 101
  • Wash Your Hands—Often! Work the suds for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget the backs of the hands and between the fingers.
  • Sneeze Politely. No tissue? Direct your sneeze to your upper sleeve rather than your hands to minimize the germs that go flying.
  • Don’t Get Handsy. Touching your nose, eyes or mouth can spread viruses.
Influenza Armor at Every Age
  • <6 months: Infants should not get vaccinated, but the rest of the household should in order to create a protective environment.
  • 6 months to 5 years: the flu is more dangerous than a cold for kids. Call your doctor if your little one starts showing symptoms.
  • 5 to 65: stay home until your fever settles for 24 hours. Very bad cases may be treated with antiviral drugs, which speed up recovery.
  • Pregnant women (up to two weeks postpartum): symptoms can be more intense. Call your doctor as soon as you start feeling off, especially if you have a fever.
  • 65 plus: the immune system weakens with age. Take the onset of symptoms seriously and visit your doctor.

If, for some reason, you can’t see your primary care doctor, Urgent Care and LiveHealth Online are great options. Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate and get directions to urgent care centers and walk-in clinics. Or, you can meet with a doctor in minutes online using LiveHealth Online. Find out more at

SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Safety Council, The New England Journal of Medicine, New York State Department of Health, American Journal of Therapeutics, University of Maryland Medical Center,, Vitamin D Council