The 2012-2013 flu season started early and activity remains high in the United States. This may continue for awhile. With that in mind, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from getting the flu. CDC recommends a 3-step approach to fighting influenza.
- Get a flu vaccine. We offer flu shots at our office. Visit www.RichichiHealth.com for more information.
- Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
What should I do during flu season?
As always, get a flu vaccine shot every year. Getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease and illness. Vaccination efforts should continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating around your area.
Also, you can help stop the spread of influenza and other diseases by doing the following important things:
- If you get sick with flu-like illness, 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 a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
While not a substitute for vaccination, these steps can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like influenza and other illnesses.
And remember, there are antiviral drugs prescribed by your doctor that can treat flu illness. They can make your illness more mild and help you feel better faster. They also can prevent serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia.
Find out if you are at high risk of developing influenza-related complications if you get the flu by visiting your Primary Care physician.
Take Everyday Preventive Actions to Stop the Spread of Germs
Everyday preventive actions are steps that people can take to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness, like flu and other illnesses. They are not a substitute for flu vaccination. Please note the following personal and community actions:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with a respiratory illness, like flu, limit contact with others as possible. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to seek medical care or for other necessities. Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. This will block the spread of droplets from your mouth or nose that could contain germs.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
The Flu and Seniors
As of mid-Jan. 2013, flu-related hospitalization and death rates among people 65 and older increased sharply. Seasonal influenza always has the greatest impact on seniors, and this seems to be particularly true during seasons when the H3N2 strain is predominant, which is the case for this flu season. CDC estimates that 90% of flu-related deaths and as many as 60% of flu-related hospitalizations occur among people 65+.
As people get older, their bodies may lose some ability to fight off flu infection. This is why it’s especially important for people 65 and older to get a flu shot, take preventive steps, and seek treatment as soon as possible if they develop flu like symptoms.
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment for your flu vaccination or if you develop flu like symptoms: www.RichichiHealth.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (239) 514-2005.