Protect Yourself from the Flu
January 30, 2013
Key Seasonal Flu Facts & Prevention:
To protect yourself from the flu you should:
- The flu spreads by droplets from infected people when they sneeze, cough or talk. Their droplets land in the mouths or noses of those nearby. A person can also get sick by touching surfaces contaminated with the flu virus, then touching their own eyes, mouth or nose.
- People can spread the flu for about one day before they feel sick and until about 5-7 days after getting sick.
- Get a flu vaccine. The vaccine is currently recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
- Take precautions:
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use the bend in your elbow. Do not cough or sneeze into your hands—this spreads it quickly when you touch things afterward.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If no water is available, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. Do this especially before eating or before touching your face.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- At risk people should consult with their physician if sick as they are at a higher risk for complications:
- Children younger than 5, especially children under 2
- People over 64 years of age
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic illnesses such as asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, immune problems
Flu symptoms include:
- Fever (although not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Sometimes diarrhea & vomiting
Emergency Warning Signs:
- In children: fast or troubled breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or acting normally, irritability, relapse in flu, fever with a rash
- In adults: difficulty or shortness of breath, chest or abdomen pain/pressure, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting
If you get sick, stay home. Stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
Source: Center for Disease Control 2012
Other sources for more flu information:
San Diego County 2012-2013 Seasonal Flu Info & Where to Get a Flu Shot
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/fluandyou_upright.pdf The Flu & You CDC Info Brochure
No Excuses Flu Vaccine CDC Flier
2012-2013 Flu Vaccine CDC Info Sheet
( News Release )