Flu season has begun, and many worry that we may experience an especially severe season this year.
It is easy for the flu virus to spread as you travel and get together with friends and family during the holidays. Remember that people with the flu can pass the virus to others a day before feeling sick and up to a week after feeling better.
Here are some important steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you.
- Get the flu shot. It is not too late to be vaccinated.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Cover your cough, and sneeze into a tissue, your arm, or a sleeve rather than your hands.
- Stay home when sick. If you have a fever with cough and/or sore throat, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
Getting the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu. You can get your vaccine at many places, including: doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, and some schools and workplaces. Everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated unless your doctor has indicated otherwise. The flu vaccine could keep you from losing valuable time from work or school, and could even save your life. Contact your doctor or visit your local pharmacy to get vaccinated.
For additional information about the flu, please visit www.cdc.gov/flu or www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/influenza/