Almost One In Three Who Have The Flu Are Out Of Commission For a Week Or More

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New Survey from Sambucol® Black Elderberry Dietary Supplement Reveals How Flu-Like Symptoms Affect Americans

Sick man in bed

Many people fail to do what is necessary to prepare themselves

If you feel like you don't have time to be sick, you might want to be extra vigilant about avoiding the flu. According to a new Harris Interactive survey conducted on behalf of Sambucol Black Elderberry Extract, 88 percent of U.S. adults say they have at some point experienced flu symptoms, and nearly one in three (32 percent) said it left them sick for a week or more.

One in four U.S. adults also reported that flu symptoms made them "so sick they could hardly function," and one in ten "felt like they were dying." A lengthy illness can also be a source of stress, as 18 percent of adults say they worried about missing a lot of work or school the last time they had flu symptoms, and 14 percent said they felt they couldn't take care of their family/children.

"Many people fail to do what is necessary to prepare themselves," says Dr. Claire Wheeler, a full-time instructor at Portland State University's School of Community Health who practices integrative and traditional medicine. "Unfortunately, those who haven't had the flu in a while, tend to minimize the seriousness of this virus and its symptoms, and even more concerning, tend not to focus on the prevention of it, not even getting a flu shot," she adds.

Dr. Wheeler offers these tips to help avoid getting sick this season:

  • Get vaccinated now. The elderly, the young (six months to 18 years old) and those with weakened immune systems are the ones most encouraged to get the flu shot, but most everyone can benefit from having it. Check with your healthcare provider to see if a flu shot is right for you.
  • Wash hands frequently. When in doubt, wash again.Viruses of all kinds, including the rhinovirus (aka the common cold), are spread with hand contact. It might be helpful to carry hand sanitizers that kill both bacteria and viruses, especially if you don't have time or a place to wash hands regularly.
  • Get Plenty of Rest: Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation is a powerful immune suppressant.
  • Exercise Frequently: Exercise is a powerful immune booster. A little is good; a lot (60 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week) is great. This includes both cardio and weight training.
  • Stay Hydrated. Toxins build up and strain immunity when you don't get enough water in your diet. Coffee, alcohol and beverages with sugar actually dehydrate the body, increasing the need for water. Try to follow up every drink that is not water with a glass of water.
  • Supplement your diet. Dr. Wheeler says that despite our best efforts at maintaining a balanced diet, it's safe to assume that we all can use a little help with extra antioxidants. She suggests taking Sambucol black elderberry supplement to help boost your immune system. "Black elderberry has twice the amount of antioxidants as blueberries and cranberries, and the black elderberry extract in Sambucol, specifically, has been clinically proven to help support immune system function," she adds.
  • Manage Stress: Stress is a major factor in reduced immunity, so take time to laugh, relax or even jot down your thoughts in a journal as a way to purge your day and start anew.

Survey Methodology
Harris Interactive® fielded the study on behalf of Sambucol from October 8-10, 2008 via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,212 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.


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