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Everything you need to know about this year's flu season

Flu season is among us and this year it's been *super* harsh. With upwards of 50 deaths, many people are panicking about how to protect themselves from getting sick. Before your anxiety goes into overdrive read these facts about the flu and how you can prevent catching it.

Are we having an epidemic?
Yes, typically the flu is spread out in different parts of the country at different times, but this year it's been widespread everywhere all at once. As for the severity of this year, researchers aren’t sure if it’s any worse than past years. This flu season the most severe strain is the H3N2. But it's important to make sure you protect yourself from the virus.

How can I protect myself from the flu?
Your first line of defense from the flu is to get vaccinated. It’s recommended to get your flu shot in October or November but it’s never too late if you haven't gotten it yet. Here are other things that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you do to protect yourself:

Steer clear of people who have the flu.
This might go without saying but we’re saying it because it's *that* important.

Wash your hands—all the time.
Make sure you’re cleaning all the germs off of your hands as much as possible. Is your bro notorious for not washing his hands after using the bathroom? Did your bestie just sneeze into her hands and then go in for a hug? Be *extra* sensitive to who and what you come in contact with.

Don’t touch your face!
Keep your hands off your eyes, nose and mouth. Those are the places where germs spread the most. This is a tough one to do but try and resist, it'll be worth it!

Keep up healthy habits
Continue getting enough sleep, exercise and healthy foods. These things will help keep your immune system happy and healthy.

Stay home!
If you get sick, make sure you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever goes down. It’s the best way to make sure no one else gets sick. Even if you're super stressed about the chem quiz you're gonna miss, trust us, you teach and friends will totes appreciate you staying home.

Remember these rules and we can all get through this flu season!

Have you ever had to stay home because of the flu? Tell us how it was in the comments!

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by India Afriyie | 2/9/2018
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