The flu season in the US has been a deadly one. The CDC reports at least 27 children have died so far. The tragic news indicates we're experiencing one of the worst flu seasons in recent history.
More people have the flu now than at this point during the most severe flu seasons in the past decade.
Since October, nearly six and a half million people across the country have come down with the flu.
Widespread outbreaks in nearly every state led to 2,900 deaths according to the CDC, as well as 55,000 hospitalizations.
The Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Mark Hyman told CBN News, "Every year there are different strains of flu and some can be more serious than others. And this year's a particularly nasty one."
Doctors still maintain the flu vaccine provides the best protection and it's not too late to get one. Hand washing also goes a long way towards prevention as well as trying to strengthen your immune system.
"You eat the right foods," said Dr. Hyman, "So get rid of sugar, processed foods which suppress your immunity. Eat whole foods: lots of vegetables and whole grains and nuts and seeds."
Vitamin D can also help.
"Studies have shown that you can reduce the flu by 75-percent by getting your vitamin D levels up. And almost 80-percent of Americans are low on vitamin D.
Studies show exercise boosts immunity and can help you get a good night's sleep: another way to fend off the flu.
"Sleep," Dr. Hyman explained, is "So important for your immune system. Get 8 hours of sleep."
He offered advice for people who struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep. "Turn off all the lights in your bedroom early, get your phone out of your bedroom, stay off the screens."
The flu is contagious, so if you get it, or think you have it, stay away from other people to curtail its spread. Doctors point out that even if you think your immune system is strong enough to successfully defeat the flu in yourself, keep in mind you could pass it along to someone whose immune system isn't as robust as yours, such as the very young, the very old, or people whose immune systems are compromised, which includes people receiving chemotherapy.
Flu symptoms include cough, fever, body aches, and fatigue that typically come on suddenly.
If you come down with the flu, doctors advise seeking help right away. New anti-viral medications can be prescribed to lessen the severity and duration of the illness. They work best if taken within two days of getting sick.