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Secret to easing cold or flu suffering? Never catch one

(NC) We've all heard it - the home remedies to cure a cold or flu told to us by the friend of a friend of a friend who just swears it always works. Some people consume copious amounts of a specialty tea, while others are proponents of sweating out your sickness. Some mix cough syrup concoctions and others are convinced you have to ride out the storm. The best way, however, to ease seasonal cold and flu ailments, like runny nose, sore throat and aching body, is to protect yourself before you get sick.

Here are eight tips to help you keep seasonal illnesses away.

1. Get the flu shot.  It's free and it can prevent the flu from taking hold up to 90 per cent of the time among healthy adults and children.

2. Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often.

3. Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer handy with at least 60% alcohol content.

4. Cover your mouth and nose with your arm or use a Kleenex brand tissue when you cough or sneeze to help keep stuff off hands and dispose of the tissue immediately.

5. Stay home from work if you are sick.

6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as the flu virus usually enters the body through those areas.

7. Eat well, exercise and get enough rest.

8. Get educated and know when the cold and flu are likely to hit your community. Forecasting tools, like achoo by Kleenex, can help you get prepared. Visit

Don't spend all winter experimenting with home remedies. Proactively protect yourself from cold and flu germs this season and you can stop your runny nose before it starts flowing, soothe your throat before it starts hurting and ease your aches before you start aching.

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