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5 ways to stop a cold before it starts

HOUSTON – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of flu can include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Cold symptoms, while you may still feel terrible, are usually milder than the flu and come with a runny or stuffy nose. 

Here are the ways health experts recommend you load up your arsenal to fight off whatever you come in contact with:

Use a Humidifier

During winter months, low humidity dries out your nasal passages, but experts say a humidifier can help your body to trap germs before they invade your system.

Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D

Oranges and OJ help because they're packed with vitamin C. 

Zinc can lessen the duration of a cold.

Vitamin D is important because your cells depend on it to activate infection-fighting responses. 

The National Institutes of Health suggest that most adults aim for at least 600 IUs per day,  some organizations recommend more.

Vitamin D is absorbed from sunlight, also found in salmon, beef, egg yolks, milk, cheese and mushrooms.

Wash Your Hands

Baylor College of Medicine physician assistant, Isabel Valdez said one of the healthiest practices to avoid viruses is good, long handwashing! Adding friction to the palms, between fingers, under the nails and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds is how health professionals deal with germs all day and don't get sick.

Flu Vaccine

Valdez also said you need the flu vaccine to protect you in case you come in contact with the deadly virus.

“It launches an arsenal to try and help your body,” Valdez said.

Get Plenty of Sleep

You have to give your body the energy to fight colds -- Get plenty of sleep!

In one study, scientists give 153 men a virus and tracked their sleep habits. People who regularly got less than seven hours of sleep were three times more likely to come down with a cold than those who slept eight hours or more each night.