Chicago, Illinois (NAPSI) - This year’s flu season is now in full swing and hitting earlier and stronger than anytime in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While the flu is nothing to sneeze at—one out of every five people in theUnited Statestoday is affected by the flu and an average of 200,000 people are hospitalized each year with flu complications, according to the CDC—there are three simple preventative steps to ward off the flu.

What To Do About The Flu

1. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. While there are many flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the most common. The HealthMap Vaccine Finder at can help you find nearby spots for shots.

2.Washhands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as germs spread this way.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

3. Wear a face mask to reduce the risk of spreading germs or from contaminating the people around you if you are sick.

Traditional face masks act only as an air filter and do nothing to neutralize the harmful germs that remain active on the mask itself, but there’s an FDA-cleared antiviral medical face mask that actually inactivates 99.99 percent of tested flu viruses within five minutes of contact. “BioMask should be one of the most important items in any home’s medicine cabinet or traveling first aid kit, right alongside hand antiseptics, adhesive bandages, alcohol pads, tape and exam gloves,” said Lorri A. Downs,BSN,MS, RN, CIC. “BioMask can help protect patients who are at home and especially at-risk groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immunities, as well as health care workers.”

The mask, which recently won the Chicago Innovation Award for its potential to protect against the flu, works by using proprietary Ionixx technology that incorporates three natural and safe ingredients—citric acid, zinc and copper. A specially absorbent coating on the outside quickly wicks droplets away from the surface to where the low pH in citric acid begins to inactivate viruses on contact. The droplet then lands on the mask’s inner blue layer, where any remaining viruses are inactivated by copper and zinc, which are toxic to pathogens.

It’s sold under Medline’s CURAD brand name and available at major retail chains, including Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Target, Meijer, Albertsons and Winn-Dixie.

Learn More

You can find further facts on face masks at and 866-940-9216.