Itâs that time of year again, sick season. Every type illness will be going around. Hopefully with some helpful tips you will stay healthy for all that winter fun. Flu season is kicking into full swing. People of all ages are affected by influenza. Children and the elderly with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to the flu. The influenza virus causes the flu. Many different strains of the virus exist and mutate often. The flu is spread from saliva. When a person with the flu sneezes or coughs, the virus is spread throughout the air. Also if a person with the flu touches something, the virus can be spread to others. The flu usually last between two to seven days, most commonly four to five. People infected with the virus have a fever, and usually have pains in their body, feel run down, and have severe headaches and may experience cold like symptoms. There is no cure for the flu, but there are some medications that help with it. The flu shot becomes available in the fall. The shot provides protection from the previous years strain, but because the virus mutates so often, the shot may not give complete immunity to the flu. Another very common type of illness is strep throat is a bacterial infection on tissues on the back of the throat and tonsils. When the tissues become irritated they cause a sudden, severe sore throat. The strep bacteria cause strep throat. Many different types of the bacteria exist, some more serious than others. The most common type of strep is called Group A Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcus (GABS). To avoid getting strep throat, the best thing to do is to avoid contact with an individual that has strep throat. Wash your hands as often as possible when you are around people with colds or other types of illnesses. Do not share toothbrushes or silverware and do not drink with people that have recently been sick. Another draining illness is the cold, which is a year-long illness, but always seems to be most common in the winter. People of all ages are affected by the cold. The cold is spread throughout the air or by touch. If you touch something with the virus, and then touch your eye, mouth, or an open wound, there is a high probability that you will become infected with it. If infected, you can become congested, develop a cough, start a runny nose, your eyes may become itchy along with your throat, become very tired, get watery eyes, and may get a fever. The symptoms of the cold usually last between seven and ten days. There is no cure for the cold, but you can treat it with over the counter medications. If you have a cold, be sure to get extra rest and drink plenty of fluids. Hopefully you take these tips into consideration, because being sick is no fun, especially over winter break.