How to Prepare for Flu Season

Flu Season

Flu season is officially upon us!  Seasonal flu can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.  It is not possible to predict what the 2014-2015 flu season will be like.  The timing, severity, and length of the season usually varies from one season to another (according to the CDC).   Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year.   While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season.

So, how should you prepare for this flu season? Get a flu vaccine!  The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first step in protecting against this serious disease.  A number of different vaccines are available this year including a trivalent (three flu viruses) vaccine, a quadrivalent (four flu viruses) vaccine, a nasal spray vaccine, and others.  The trivalent flu vaccine helps to protect against the three most common flu viruses (two A types and one B type of influenza) while the quadrivalent flu vaccine helps to protect against the four most common flu viruses (two A types and two B types of influenza).

What else can you do to stay healthy? In addition to receiving the flu vaccine, good health habits also help to prevent illness including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Practice other good health habits like cleaning and disinfecting, eating well, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and staying active.

Preventing illness is a priority! Get your flu shot and practice good health habits to help accomplish this!

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