The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that we take three actions to combat the flu:
- Take time to get a flu vaccine
- Take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs
- Take antiviral Drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine, which is the first and most important step in protecting against influenza.
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. There are data to suggest that even if someone gets sick after vaccination, their illness may be milder.
Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
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 years and older.
Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and others who live with or care for high risk people.
Stop the spread of germs
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to avoid infecting them.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, 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 for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Take flu antiviral drugs if they are prescribed
If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 48 hours of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
Visit the CDC’s website for more information on the three actions you should take to combat the flu.