Wintertime is often when people experience the flu, colds, and bacterial infections like strep throat. Since many people have to stay indoors more during this season, it's easy to get sick from viruses which may recirculate through HVAC systems. Plus, the low humidity of winter air can dry out mucous membranes and skin, leaving you more vulnerable to nose and sinus issues. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to stave off winter-related infections--take a look.

Use Beta Glucan Health Supplements

Boosting your immune system is one of the best things you can do to avoid getting sick. Supplements, like Vitamin C, are very popular since they are an easy way to prevent a cold or shorten its symptoms. Another supplement you may want to try is beta glucan. Beta glucan is a complex sugar and fiber, and they are commonly found in grains and yeasts.

While beta glucan health supplements can be used for debilitating conditions, like cancer or diabetes, they have also been shown to be very effective at mitigating cold and flu symptoms. In fact, if you've developed a bacterial respiratory infection, beta glucan can often be used in conjunction with your antibiotics--especially if your body has developed resistance to antibiotic treatments in the past. Of course, it's always best to consult with your doctor to make sure these supplements would be beneficial. If you aren't keen on supplements, there are other ways to consume beta glucan, as foods like cheese and salad dressing often use it as an additive.

Double Down on Your Sanitizing Efforts

Invest in some sanitizing cloths or sprays to use at home or at work. When you or another person is sick, little droplets from runny noses can get onto hands, which then can get onto doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, etc.

Along with cleaning, you can improve your sanitizing efforts by keeping your own hands clean. The Scientific American says that a research group implemented a program called Operation Stop Cough, where they made sure a group of Navy recruits washed their hands frequently. After two years, they were able to see 45% fewer infections that caused respiratory issues. So washing your hands is one of the best things you can do to keep everyone healthy at both home and work.

Get a Flu Shot

During the winter, so many places offer flu shots for reasonable prices. Grocery store pharmacies and stand-alone pharmacies offer these vaccinations. Your insurance policy may even cover flu shots offered at your primary caregiver's office. Some employers even offer flu shots to their employees and their families for free. According to the CDC, the risk of infection can be reduced by about 40 to 60% during seasons where the vaccine and the prevalent virus are well matched.

As you can see, even though cold weather illness can be annoying, there are definitely things you can do to prevent and combat them.

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