It's been a beautiful fall season in many parts of the U.S., so you can certainly forgive most people for putting off their concern for cold and flu season! But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lack of cold weather doesn't mean you shouldn't already have flu shots on your mind!
The CDC warns that individuals and families should be vaccinated by the end of October before the flu starts to spread, as it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against illness. Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you can get a head start on your cold & flu season preparations without doing damage to your wallet. Here are a few ways to get started this autumn.
- Flu Shot
According to the CDC, this season only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended. The cost associated with flu shots is an FSA-eligible expense, so don't delay making an appointment with your doctor or pharmacist! These shots are designed to protect against multiple strains of the flu, and typically protect against 3-4 versions of the virus that are expected to be most common this season.
- Prevent the spread of germs
Everyday actions to stop the spread of germs will make a huge difference for you and your family to avoid contracting the flu this season. The CDC suggests always washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer when coming in contact with public surfaces, and limit your contact with sick people. Using tissues or saline wipes can help prevent the spread of germs, and avoid touching your mouth or eyes after doing so.
- Maintain your healthy habits
The strength of your immune system plays a major role in whether you come down with a cold or flu virus, so make sure your keep up healthy habits as fall gets underway. WebMD suggests eating a balanced diet, exercising at least 4 days a week and sleeping 7-9 hours each night to ensure that your immune system is in good shape.
- FSA-Eligible Flu Care
If you do happen to contract the flu despite your best efforts, your FSA can cover a huge range of treatments to help you get back on your feet. Prescription antivirals can be covered with FSA funds, as well as cold & flu products like Neti pots, antihistamines/decongestants, steam inhalers, cold compresses and more! Before the cold weather hits, make sure you pick up cold & allergy products with your FSA funds!
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible items to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!