5 must-have apps to get you through cold and flu season

Cold and Flu season is upon us and it’s important to be prepared.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population will get the Flu annually, while an average of 200,000 Americans will be hospitalized due to problems with the illness.
 
Experts agree that the best preventative measure you can take is getting the Flu vaccine – but there are other things you and your family, especially the young ones, can do to stay prepared.
 
Thanks to today’s technology, a slew of Flu-related facts and guidelines could be right at your fingertips.  
 
Below are five cell phone apps that could help you fight the Flu this year.
 
1. FluView: Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FluView could be considered the “official” flu tracker, allowing you to see how severe flu outbreaks are in your state via color-coded maps, and across the nation, according to Parenting.com. Perfect for traveling!
 
This app also gives you access to videos and podcasts related to flu-prevention (iOS).
 
2. Sickweather: This app is similar to FluView in that it gives you a glimpse of illness activity in your general area, though it uses a social media-based approach. By using data from sites like Facebook and Twitter, Sickweather uses people’s posts to give you a real-time understanding of what exactly you’re dealing with in your area, whether it be the flu, the common cold or even pink eye. (iOS, Android).
 
3. ZocDoc: If your prevention methods fail and you happen to get sick, Zocdoc has you covered. Rather than waiting days for an open appointment, Zocdoc will match you with doctors in your area -- all you have to do is provide some information, such as a reason for your visit and insurance information (iOS, Android).
 
4. Doctor on Demand: Skip that dreaded doctor’s visit with Doctor on Demand, which allows you to get professional help while in the comfort of your own home. Using a video conference feature, this app connects you to board-certified doctors in your state for just $40 (iOS, Android).
 
5. Home Remedies+: Maybe you don’t have the full-on flu, but rather a mild cold for which you’d like to ease symptoms in a natural way. The app Home Remedies+ provides a variety of recipes for common ailments, Parenting.com reports. For example, ginger tea for a cold or lemon and honey for a cough. What do you have to lose? (iOS, Android)
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