Actions to Prevent the Flu

Published: September 03, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting or diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Take time to get a flu vaccine

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While there are many different kinds of flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common. Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine at the beginning of flu season.

People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease; and people 65 and over.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs

Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medication)  except to get medical care or for other necessities.

If you get sick:

  • Limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. 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, as germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
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