When it hurts to lay down in the bed, that is when you know you have the flu. I'm no doctor but that's my evaluation. Chances are over the next few months you or someone you know and love is going to be coughing, sneezing, running fever, having chills, and just really  not feeling well.

While the flu is usually a more serious illness than the common cold now is the perfect time to remember what you can do to minimize your exposure to the catalyst that cause these medical maladies. Hand washing and overall personal hygiene and good sanitary practices are your first step to staying healthy.

Many doctors recommend getting a flu shot every year. However, flu shots don't work instantly, it takes time for your body to build up immunity to the flu.

"For two weeks, if you did come across someone who is sick with the flu, you could possibly get infected from them because your immunity hasn't developed, yet."

Dr. Fred Lopez with the LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans made that comment to the Louisiana Radio Network. He went on to say that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been really on target with matching the particular vaccine for the particular virus each flu season.

"The vaccine is very effective at preventing flu infections and, in recent years, we've had good match between the vaccine and the flu strains that are prevalent in the communities in this country."

Dr. Lopez also suggested that in addition to cleanliness and getting a flu shot there are a couple of other simple steps you can take to prevent illness this cold and flu season. He suggests getting enough rest and making sure you're eating a nutritious diet. These simple steps could keep you out of the doctors office and on the go all winter long.