(Please excuse this short post during this short week.  If you feel deprived of health education, I’ve listed some educational links for you below.)

You better watch out.  The flu is coming to town, and it doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice.  It looks like flu season is starting later this year than usual, but both the CDC data and Google Flu Trends suggest that illnesses due to the flu are increasing nationwide.

The best way to protect yourself is with a flu shot.  And if you do get sick, call your doctor right away.  Antiviral medicines can help shorten the duration of the flu but only if they are started in the first 48 hours of symptoms.

Merry Christmas to everyone who is celebrating!  Stay healthy.

Learn more:

Google Flu Trends is the coolest way to track flu activity.  You can look at individual states, and now also major cities.  Check it out in time to warn Grandma in Milwaukee!

My post about who should and should not receive a flu shot.

Is it a cold or the flu?  Here’s my post about identifying and treating the common cold.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Activity and Surveillance (written for doctors more than for patients)

Finally, we should not allow the holidays to make us complacent about the constant zombie threat.