Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It’s recommended for most individuals, ages six months and older.
Flu season typically peaks in January or February, so it’s not too late to get vaccinated for the current flu season!
In addition to the vaccine, there are steps you can take to avoid getting and spreading the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits (get adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition; and manage stress).
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you have the flu.
Learn more about the flu, including symptoms, treatment and who is most at risk.
Find more debunked flu myths.
As fall becomes winter, not only do the warm coats and scarves come out, but common illnesses such as colds and the flu join us too. While you can’t always avoid getting the flu, there is plenty you can do now to help you and your family prevent the pesky sickness. We rounded up these helpful resources for you from the government so you don’t have to go digging for reliable information to keep your family healthy:
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers tips on the differences between a cold and flu, how you can prevent both, what to do if you’re already sick, and advice on over the counter medicines. You can get it all online or even order a hard copy publication sent to your house.
- It’s easy to follow the top link when you do an online search, but remember that not all sources are trusted ones. Flu.gov is the official government website where you can enter your zip code to find out where you can get a flu shot, get advice for who is most at risk, and learn how you can help care for loved ones who get the flu.
- Like your information on the go? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an app for you. With the “CDC Influenza” app, you can find national flu activity information, as well as vaccine recommendations and videos on how to protect your family.
- Even though it’s been a few years since the H1N1 pandemic flu was national news, it is another strand of the flu to always be mindful of. The 2013-2014 flu shots cover this strain of the flu, plus others. Learn more about this year’s flu season and shots from the CDC.
Image description: A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory worker injects an influenza virus into an egg, where it will grow before being harvested—one of the many complex steps involved in creating a traditional flu vaccine. Learn more about the evolution, and revolution, of flu vaccines.
Photo from the FDA