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Flu fighters: The essentials everyone should have on hand

January 08, 2013|By Zara Husaini @zarhus | RedEye

This year the flu has struck so hard, local hospitals have had to turn away ambulances because they’re so busy treating patients who have the flu.

While avoiding the flu all season would be ideal, preparing for the event is important. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to venture out in search of supplies when you’re already sick.

Whether or not you’ve gotten your flu shot, taking a few preemptive cautions could be in your best interests this year, as the flu seems almost unavoidable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that anyone who is infected stay quarantined in a “sick room.” Sufferers can opt to create a “sick room” with all the necessary items in advance, or you can just make sure you have the following items in your home.

>> A humidifier: The extra moisture can make it easier to breathe when you’re sick.

>> Alcohol-based hand sanitizer: Washing away germs is always a good idea, especially when you’re sick. Keep portable hand sanitizer by your bed so you don’t have to walk to the sink each time.

>> Tissues: Throw them away as soon as you’re done using them.

>> Cups and straws that you won’t share with anyone

>> Trash can with liner and lid: Keep the infection in the trash can, not around or overflowing out of it.

>> A thermometer

>> A facemask: If you’re at home with other people, this makes it easy for you to keep your germs away from them.

>> Fluids: Staying hydrated is one of best ways to fight off the flu. Doctors recommend healthy fluids like water and juice over sodas. Stick your drinks in a cooler by your bed.

>> Soup: Canned soup will work in a pinch, but making and freezing soups is an even healthier option.

>> Fruit and vegetables

>> Tea

>> Lots of DVDs, books and video games: Staying home from work is definitely a good idea if you have the flu. Keep your germs out of the office and take the opportunity to get hooked on a new drama.

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