Deliver CDC’s Triple Punch to Fight Flu

This year’s influenza (flu) season is upon us and is expected to continue until May throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends three actions to reduce your risk:

1. Get a flu vaccine.

  • The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the chances of: becoming ill with the flu; doctors’ visits; and missed work or school due to flu.
  • The CDC recommends that individuals aged 6 months and older be vaccinated for the flu. The Center generally recommends getting the vaccination early during the flu season, however, as long as the viruses linger, there is still time to get a flu shot.
  • Vaccination of high-risk persons (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm) is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.

2. Everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who have the flu. If you have flu symptoms, limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • If you have the flu, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides, except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over the counter.
  • Antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also may prevent serious flu complications.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick, but starting them later still can be helpful. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking these drugs.
  • Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Visit CDC’s website to find out what to do if you get sick with the flu.

(Excerpted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


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