FLU: What You Can Do to Avoid It
Get your flu shot as soon as the influenza vaccination is available.
The seasonal influenza vaccine provides the best protection available from seasonal flu. As it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection, it’s best to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
- Why do I need to get the flu vaccine every year? The influenza virus changes every year as it makes its way around the world. Public health providers and people who make flu vaccines decide each year which kinds of flu are most likely to make people sick. They put the top three kinds into the vaccine. Since viruses are almost never the same from year to year, the kinds of influenza in the vaccine changes each year. The vaccine only protects you from influenza for one year.
Wash your hands often!
Scrub for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.
Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue.
Wash your hands afterwards and throw away used tissues immediately. If you are not able to clean your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. If you work in a health care setting, you may consider wearing a mask.
Clean surfaces frequently.
Clean surfaces, such as door handles, handrails, kitchen table and phones frequently with household cleaner or bleach solution. (Mixing 1/4 cup bleach with 1 gallon of water makes a bleach solution. This should be mixed fresh daily.) If disinfectant is not available hot water and soap can be used.
Take care of yourself!
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.