Utilize the below tips to protect against seasonal influenza.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges you to take three action steps to protect against the flu.
Step 1 — Take the time to get vaccinated.
- The CDC recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu
- The seasonal flu vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older
- The seasonal flu vaccine is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to prevent giving the flu to those at high risk
- The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three seasonal flu viruses that research suggests will be most common
Step 2 — Take everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth — germs spread this way
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, the 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)
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze; alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective*
- While sick, limit contact with others to keep from infecting them
Step 3 — Take flu antiviral drugs if recommended.
- Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter and are different from antibiotics
- Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body
- Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster; they may also prevent serious flu complications
- Antiviral drugs may be especially important for people who are very sick (hospitalized) or people who are sick with the flu and who are at increased risk of serious flu complications, such as pregnant women, young children and those with chronic health conditions
- Antiviral drugs will be prescribed according to medical indications and/or CDC guidelines
- For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started within the first two days of symptoms
*Though the scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be used for killing flu germs on hands in settings where alcohol-based products are prohibited.
Flu-like symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Extreme tiredness
- Fever (usually high)
- Muscle aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sometimes diarrhea
- Sore throat
This information is a courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For More Information
For additional details regarding the flu, visit Flu Care. To learn more about Sharp's occupational health services, please call 858-499-4957. To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego occupational medicine physician or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.