Definitely avoid, when possible, close contact with sick people.
Many pharmacies and even grocery stores already tout signage and advertisements announcing the beginning of cold and flu season and the need for protective flu shots.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides comprehensive information on the 2019-20 influenza season at cdc.gov/flu, and emphasizes some ways to avoid getting the flu in the first place:
‒ Avoid, when possible, close contact with sick people.
‒ While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
‒ Especially when experiencing the flu or flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone (naturally and without the use of fever-reducing medications) — except to get medical care or for other necessities.
‒ Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed with soap.
‒ If soap and water are not available to wash hands, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
‒ Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth while sick, as germs will likely spread.
‒ Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
CDC’s flu avoidance tactics are also advised for skirting a cold. But health.com in August also suggested boosting immunity with these tips:
1. Exercise and try to break a sweat. “Regular exercise promotes good circulation, which helps illness-thwarting immune cells travel throughout your body to do their job.“
2. Relax. Yoga and other unwinding activities, such as dinner out or a movie, reduce stress. High stress levels decrease lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help fight off infections.
3. Consider getting a massage, as a 2010 study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine determined that just one session of Swedish massage can increase levels of white blood cells.
4. Get enough sleep — at least seven to eight hours. While sleeping, the body makes and circulates immune cells.
Another tip from health.com is to wear a scarf or mouth mask, especially if commuting on a bus, train or subway. The scarf can be used to cover one’s mouth if someone nearby is coughing or sneezing.