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Tis the Flu Season: Ways to Stay Healthy for the Holidays

Although the beginning and end of influenza activity varies from one year to the next, seasonal flu typically occurs in the United States between October and April. Flu can spread easily where people gather, such as at concerts, festivals, meetings, conferences, places of worship, and sporting events. Those who travel can also spread flu to other communities and to family members when they return home, and to work or school.

All age groups are susceptible to flu with the highest rates of outpatient visits occurring among children from 2-17 years old. However, the greatest threats exist to those who are over 65 years old, under 5 years old, and those who have other medical conditions, with increased risks for complications, hospitalizations, or deaths from seasonal flu.

The recommended way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. When a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth, germs are often spread. The following tips can help keep both you and others healthy for the holidays.

  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with other people so you don’t spread your illness.
  • Whenever possible, keep your distance from those who are sick.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  • Get plenty of sleep, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, exercise, and eat nutritious food.

For 2-8 hours after being left behind on a surface, flu virus can live and potentially infect other people. Despite the fact that the flu virus can survive on hands for only 3-5 minutes, if other people later touch a contaminated surface and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, they can be exposed to the flu.

Following the guidelines above are simple everyday preventive actions that people take to help lower the risk to themselves and to others, of coming in contact with viruses left on surfaces. In the event that a new flu virus emerges that can rapidly spread from person to person worldwide, causing a flu pandemic, routine surface cleaning becomes especially important, as a vaccine may not be immediately available.

Pettineo Insurance Agency wants to wish you and your family a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. For help with your health insurance policy, contact Pettineo Insurance Agency today at (954) 493-9424 or visit for a free quote.

Pettineo Insurance Agency Inc. provides health insurance coverage in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, North Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Tamarac, Plantation, Lighthouse Point and all of Florida. As an independent agent we represent many top rated companies in both the personal and commercial lines. We place your policy with the company offering the best coverage at a reasonable price. We offer a complete line of personal, commercial, life and health insurance products, designed exclusively for your insurance needs. Serving South Florida for almost 30 years, Pettineo Insurance offers the highly personalized service and stability that you should expect from your insurance agent.