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January 11
​Do You Know How to Fight the Flu?

Take Steps to Protect Yourself and Your Family

Flu is a serious, contagious disease. Each year in the U.S., flu leads to 12,000–56,000 hospitalizations and 140,000–710,000 deaths.

Several different types of flu move through communities across the country each flu season. This year’s flu shots protect against three or four types of flu, depending on which vaccine you get. Whether or not you’ve had the flu this season, getting a flu shot can still help protect you from common types of flu.

Anyone can get the flu, but you can help protect yourself and your family by following these simple tips.

Prevent the Flu

  • Get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, complications and deaths from flu. Get your shot now, because it may take up to two weeks for it to start protecting you.
  • Stay away from people who are sick as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Change your habits. Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Maintain other healthy habits such as getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious foods.

Don’t Spread the Flu

  • If you get sick, stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • Stay home until you are better. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Know When to See a Doctor

  • If you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider.
  • If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room.

For more information on preventing the flu, visit cdc.gov/flu.


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