Fighting the Flu: Tips for Avoiding the Flu This Year
By now, you have probably seen at least one advertisement encouraging you to get a flu shot. Nobody wants the flu. Being sick with the flu can mean time missed from work, school and the activities you enjoy most. Unless you live alone, coming down with the flu may also mean spreading the flu to your children, spouse, parents or roommates. And like you, they don’t want the flu! Here are some tips to help prevent the flu this year:
Get a flu vaccination. Visit your doctor, the health department, an urgent care clinic or a walk-in clinic in your local drugstore. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine to help protect against the flu. Everyone six months or older should get a flu vaccine as soon as they become available. You should definitely receive a flu vaccine if you fall into any of the following groups of people.
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease
- If you are over the age of 65
- Are a healthcare worker, or care for individuals who are at high risk for getting the flu.
Take action on a daily basis to help prevent the spread of germs:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw this tissue away immediately.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently – after coughing or sneezing, after using the restroom and before preparing meals.
- Use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid contact with individuals with the flu if possible.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes. Germs are spread easily this way.
- If you come down with flu-like symptoms, stay home for least 24 hours.
- If you are sick, limit your contact with other individuals.
- Follow the instructions of your doctor.
- Finish the entire dose of your medication to ensure effectiveness.