Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates

How to Avoid the Flu

With October just around the corner, it is time to begin thinking about how you are going to avoid the flu this year. The flu can mean being out of school or work for over a week and even worse for some people who are vulnerable to more severe flu complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting your yearly flu vaccine before the end of October to ensure that it has been in your body long enough before flu season.  The flu vaccine will protect you from the flu virus that is the most common and that you are most likely to get. Young children, adults over 65, people who are pregnant, and people with chronic health conditions are at risk for having severe health complications from the flu. For these people getting the flu vaccine is even more crucial.

After being vaccinated, the next step to preventing the flu is being cautious about the spreading of germs. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that many other people touch, such as public railings.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially after you have been in contact with public surfaces that may carry germs.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Keep an alcohol based disinfectant on you at all times for when you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Get sleep and have a well-balanced diet during flu season. This will help to keep your immune system strong.

If you do become sick with flu symptoms, take the following measures to avoid spreading the virus any further.

  • Take the medicine that your doctor has prescribed to you.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
  • Throw away the tissue after blowing your nose.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone for 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects you touched while sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.

No one wants to get the flu, so do what you can to prevent getting it this year. There is no reason not to get your annual flu vaccine, you are only harming yourself and the people you spend most of your time with.


Higher Coffee Consumption Is Linked with Lower Risk of Death for Many

A new study released by the European Society of Cardiology Congress found that higher coffee consumption is linked with a lower risk of death. That does not mean just one cup of coffee a day. Up to 4 cups of coffee a day can reduce your chances of an early death. Previous studies have shown that high coffee consumption may be linked with a higher risk of mortality, however this research has never been conducted in a Mediterranean country. Researchers thought that the risks or benefits of coffee consumption may be different  for those who consume a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.


The study followed 20,000 patients whose average age was 37.7 years old. The participants were researched and studied for over the course of ten years. The results of the study found that participants who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had a 64% lower risk of death than those who never or almost never drank coffee. For participants over the age of 45, drinking two additional cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of death by 30%. Another study found that drinking coffee contributed to a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.


In conclusion, drinking 4 cups of coffee today as a part of a healthy diet can contribute to that healthy diet. Therefore, if you are following a healthy diet and lifestyle, don’t worry about cutting down on the coffee, consider drinking more instead. However, this study did not show that drinking coffee can benefit people with unhealthy diets.


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