The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stressed the need to have a defense against the influenza (the Flu) this season. With three more weeks of the regular flu season, here are three ways the CDC recommends to fight the flu.
#1 Get a Flu Shot
This is the first and most important step in the defense of the flu. There are many different flu viruses, the vaccine protects against the most common ones research suggests. It is important to keep in mind, the flu shot might not prevent every strain of the flu each season; however, it should aid in reducing the flu illnesses and doctors’ visits.
For those who have chronic health conditions and are at a high risk of serious flu complications and it is recommended to get the flu shot each year. If you or someone you know needs help with getting insurance to get a flu shot, open enrollment for Covered CA is open until January 31, 2018, reached out to PRC for more information.
#2 Everyday Prevention Goes Along Way
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated; such as phones, keyboards, door knobs, etc.
- Do your best to avoid close contact with sick people, if possible. If you need to help someone, wear protective gear such as rubber gloves, face masks, and wash hands often.
#3 If Your Doctor Prescribes an Antiviral Medication, Take It!
Antiviral medications are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines, which may come in pills, liquids or an inhaled powder. These are not available over-the-counter.
Antiviral medication can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They can also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. It is important they are used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu and who have a great risk of complications. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral medications. Of course, always speak with your doctor before taking any medication.