With the winter months rapidly approaching – so too approaches ‘Flu season’. The colder temperatures can cause the incidences of cold and influenza viruses to increase tenfold. While among young healthy people, this is usually a minor set-back in their health and severe frustration. For the elderly, very young or those with chronic health problems – flu-season presents a significant risk of serious complications.

The myths:

While there are many fabled cures and preventions surrounding the cold and flu, these are myths and offer nothing more than a placebo.

1 in 3 people believe Vitamin C will cure the Flu Virus

Unfortunately, this is false. Vice-chair of the Royal College of GP’s, Dr Hasmukh Joshi, has stated that according to research – there is no medical evidence whatsoever to show vitamin C has any effect on either the common cold or flu virus.

The Echinacea plant is used in many herbal remedies to prevent contracting a cold and flu virus

Again, Dr Joshi comments that despite common belief, and some varying reviews which might suggest otherwise, an official review of trials involving Echinacea in 2005 showed no significant benefit to the immune system.

Zinc is often said to help – as it is supposed to line the mucosa (nose-lining) and prevents a virus attaching

However, trials found no significant difference in the duration of colds among people who took Zinc and those who did not.

(Information provided by www.nhs.uk)

So what will help?

While many of these ‘old wives tale’ type methods may provide a placebo, there is no cure for a cold or flu virus. Although you can give yourself a fighting chance with a healthy diet and regular exercise, there is no ‘quick-fix’. However, while there is no cure – the flu vaccine will prevent you from catching the flu, and for those who the NHS deems to be ‘at-risk’ – a flu-jab can be provided. Or, if you aren’t deemed to be ‘at-risk’ you can pay privately to have a vaccination.

That’s where Medicash will help. Our corporate plan Medicash Proactive offers money-back for vaccinations and inoculations.

With absences from work costing the UK economy 6.5 billion pounds every year, and with cold and flu occurrences being, on average, 10 times as higher during the winter months – A Medicash Proactive corporate plan may well be the best way to safeguard against a nasty surprise in the workplace this Christmas.

For more information, why not take a look at some of our corporate plans.