How to keep from getting sick at holiday gatherings

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Each year as we get into the winter months, the chances of getting flu along with other general illnesses increases exponentially.

"It's a combination of the weather and being around other people during the holidays," said Clark Kebodeaux, an assistant professor at the UK College of Pharmacy. "it just increases the chances of the virus spreading from one person to another."

According to the CDC, last year was one of the most intense flu seasons on record, which usually occurs from December through February, but that season can last longer, which is why it's never too late to get your vaccine.

"Depending on the year, the flu incidents can go all the way even to March, so it's important to go ahead and get the vaccine and get protected all the way throughout the flu season," said Kebodeaux.

If you do start feeling the symptoms of the flu or even a bad cold, doctors suggest getting tested for the flu early before it's too late.

"The medication that we have to treat the influenza virus is most effective if it's used within the first two days," said Kebodeaux. "So, if you do notice acute symptoms it's important to go in and get seen so you can get he best treatment as soon as possible."

And as more people get together for the holidays, health officials say you can further protect yourself from the cold or flu by practicing good hygiene, including making sure you are washing your hands thoroughly.

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