Cold and flu season is upon us. As temperatures drop, it's almost inevitable that at some point during the winter, you or someone in your family will catch one of the two. To make matters worse, we are still very much fighting against COVID-19 as well.

According to the CDC, as of December 19, 2022, 45 of the 50 states are characterized as having high or very high flu activity levels. Additionally, flu-related hospitalizations are the highest at this time of year than they have been in a decade. Dr. Eva Beaulieu, a board-certified internal medicine hospitalist and Clorox spokesperson, chatted with us to provide a few ways we can all stay healthy—especially as we move through the holidays.

Dr. Beaulieu says that by incorporating these 5 tips you and your family will be better equipped to navigate the cold and flu season.

Practice safe respiratory hygiene during cold and flu season

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. This is particularly important to teach your kids, who often run around the house touching everything.

Wash your hands frequently

Do so with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds (e.g. after coming home from public places, before drinking and eating, etc.), and avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.

"I also like to keep sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol on hand to use in a pinch when I’m on the go and I don’t have immediate access to soap and water," she says.

Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces and shared spaces

Especially areas like doorknobs, light switches, refrigerator handles, countertops, TV remotes and trash cans. Use easy yet effective product solutions like Clorox Disinfecting Mist or Disinfecting Wipes.

"Regular cleaning and disinfection is an important part of a holistic prevention strategy to help keep your family healthy amidst seasonal illness spikes, as many illness-causing germs can survive on surfaces for extended periods of time. For example, per the CDC, viruses such as influenza can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours," explains Dr. Beaulieu.

Get your annual flu shot

Keep a pulse on the CDC recommendations to ensure you have the most up-to-date vaccines to help keep your family healthy and protected against seasonal illnesses.

If you get sick or don’t feel well, stay home

Use the time for yourself to heal physically as well as mentally. Whether that means sleeping in an extra few hours, taking the time to read that book you haven’t had the time for, or just curling up with a tea and bingeing a new show, taking care of your body is more than just physically recovering from sickness.