Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

  • Get your flu shot

    The flu vaccine is recognized as the best way to help prevent and control influenza. The best time to get a flu vaccination is from October through November, although getting it in December and January is not too late.

  • Wash your hands often

    Both colds and flu can be passed through coughing, sneezing, and contaminated surfaces — including the hands. Wash your hands often to help prevent passing germs to others.

  • Don't use your hands to cover your sneezes and coughs

    If you feel a sneeze or cough coming, it's best to use a tissue or cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow. If you cough or sneeze into your bare hands, it could result in passing germs to others.

  • And as always, practice healthy habits

    • Stay active
    • Eat a balanced diet
    • Get plenty of sleep
  • Managing Cold and Flu with
    High Blood Pressure

    • Know your OTC cold medicine options

      Read labels carefully to understand if there are decongestants in cold and flu medications, as decongestants may raise blood pressure in people with hypertension. Some common decongestants are pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor before using OTC medications that contain decongestants.

    • Check potential drug interactions

      Make sure to speak with a pharmacist or doctor about potential drug interactions if you are taking more than one medicine.

    • Know your numbers

      Have your blood pressure checked and keep appointments with your doctor. This will help everyone monitor your hypertension program and make the necessary adjustments to keep it under control.

    • Don't over-exert yourself

      Some studies suggest that overexertion after long periods of inactivity may increase heart health risks.

    • The information provided is not medical advice. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition.