Here it comes in full force, just in time for the holiday season, the dreaded influenza.  Governor Cuomo's office just reported yesterday that cases of the flu in New York State have risen sharply in the past week, as much as 72%!  Needless to say, the Governor is urging residents 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated if they haven't already.

So first thing you need to know is what constitutes the flu. According to the Mayo Clinic, influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs, not to be confused with stomach viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. Also, the flu tends to come on quickly and feeling miserable.

What can you do to keep yourself "flu-free"?
- get a flu vaccination
- Your mother was right when you told you as a kid to wash your hands!!
- keep your coughing and sneezing to yourself by coughing and sneezing into your elbow to avoid spreading germs.
- avoid crowds, a.k.a. "the germ factory".

Plus, there's the obvious recommendation: take care of yourself!  A lot of stress and abusing your body with sugar and other junk food will just lower your immune system, setting you up to being vulnerable to the flu.