Want to avoid the flu that is spreading like wild fire this year?
The Center for Disease Control says:
- CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
- While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common. (See upcoming season’s Vaccine Virus Selection for this season’s vaccine composition.)
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season's vaccines are available.
- 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 other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
- Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- 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 without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- 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 with germs like the flu.
The Current map of Flu Outbreak as of the last week of 2013 shows Twenty-five states reported widespread geographic influenza activity, an increase from ten states in the previous week.
Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the week of December 22-28. Check your state below.
photo/info courtesy U.S.Center for Disease Control