With coronavirus reports flooding the news, we can all use a few reminders about how to prevent influenza, or flu, of all kinds.
- Get a flu vaccine – even now. Flu season is in high gear, but it’s not too late to be vaccinated. If you or a family member hasn’t had a shot for the 2019-2020 season, call your primary care physician today and make an appointment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this is the most important step you can take to prevent flu.
- Wash your hands – and don’t be slap-dash about it. Follow the CDC-approved method:wet, lather with soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse, dry – and repeat often. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together for at about 20 seconds or until the gel dries. Don’t eat, or touch your eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands first.
- Cover up. Sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it away, then – you guessed it – wash your hands.
- Stay away from sick people – and stay away from others if you are sick. Symptoms to watch for: fever (not always present), chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuff nose, body aches, headaches, feeling tired, vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common among children). Make sure you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the help of ibuprofen or acetaminophen) before you go back to work or school.
If you think you might have the flu and you’re not sure what do to, call your doctor. That’s what we’re here for!