Flu Prevention Guidelines

Flu Prevention Guidelines

Preventing Seasonal Flu: Get Vaccinated (Costs)

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. There are two types of flu vaccines:

  • The "flu shot"–a dead virus (inactivated vaccine) that is given with a needle. The seasonal flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women.
  • The nasal–spray flu vaccine –a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu. The Nasal Spray vaccine is approved for use in healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.

About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection. Flu vaccines will not protect against flu-like illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the three influenza viruses that research suggests will be most common. The 2014-2015 flu vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus).

When to Get Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu

Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September, or as soon as vaccine is available, and continue throughout the flu season which can last as late as May. This is because the timing and duration of flu seasons vary. While flu season can begin early as October, most of the time seasonal flu activity peaks in January or later.

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Viruses can live up to 2 hours on some surfaces so it is important to wash your hands frequently. Wash hands with anti-bacterial soap and water for 15 to 30 seconds - No soap? Use a hand sanitizer with 60-90 % alcohol*.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Staying well hydrated helps your body to deliver nutrients to organs and flushes toxins from the body.

Get plenty of Zzzs.

A healthy sleeping pattern helps to booster the immune system. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.

Get moving!

Regular exercise helps to strengthen the immune system and increases the body’s natural virus-killing cells.

Avoid touching your face.

The eyes, nose, and mouth are entry ways for viruses. Avoid rubbing your eyes and chewing your nails.

AACCHHOO!! Learn to sneeze the healthy way.

Avoid using your hands to cover your mouth when you sneeze because the virus will get on your hands. Instead, use a tissue to cover your mouth, or if you don’t have one sneeze into your sleeve.

Play hookie!

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent others from getting sick too.

KEEP IT CLEAN!

Frequently disinfect doorknobs, desks, telephones, etc. with Lysol.

More Information on flu prevention, handwashing and boosting the immune system:

Cover Your Cough

Hand Washing Technique

Boosting the Immune System

Consult your doctor if you have the following symptoms:

High fever, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, extreme tiredness, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Antiviral medications can shorten the flu if taken within 48-72 hours after symptoms start so contact your physician early.

Information provided by:

The Appalachian District Health Department, the CDC, and Health Promotion for Faculty and Staff. For questions, call 6314.

 

Page content reviewed: 6/1/15 kal


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