Another Reason to Get Flu Vaccine: It Protects Against Colds

PLAINVIEW, NY – A New York pulmonologist says people shouldn’t ignore those signs offering flu shots at health facilities like those associated with the North Shore-LIJ Health System or area drug stores because even if you are not worried about the flu, the shot could help prevent common colds.

“There have even been some studies that even though influenza shots directly affect influenza, they can decrease your ability to get a common cold,” says Alan Mensch, MD, senior vice president of medical affairs at Plainview and Syosset hospitals.

Other ways to potentially prevent getting a cold include:

• Staying healthy by getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising.
• Managing your stress well.
• Washing your hands regularly and/or using hand sanitizer.

One way to prevent the spread of germs is sneezing into the crook of your arm.
“Viruses tend to travel further in dry air, which is associated with winter,” Dr. Mensch says.
The average adult gets about four colds a year, while most children get about six colds a year, Dr. Mensch says.
 

Focus onHealth TV

Watch Focus onHealth, Northwell Health's TV show. It's the healthy way to stay informed!