The seasonal flu is a viral infection affecting the nose, throat, and lungs, and with the change in seasons, it’s essential to take preventative steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
For many, the flu is a serious nuisance—and for some, it can develop into a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Those at the highest risk for serious flu complications include:
- Pregnant women
- Children under the age of 5
- Adults age 65 and older
- People with health conditions such as asthma or diabetes
The most effective way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines may be administered as a shot or a nasal spray and are available at many different locations, such as your doctor’s office, clinic, pharmacy, or employer. They are covered under the Affordable Care Act as well as Medicare Part B.
In addition to the flu vaccine, listed below are other steps you can take to help prevent the seasonal flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- If you do get sick, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice general good health habits, such as cleaning and disinfecting surfaces at home, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Taking action to prevent the flu can help ensure you have the best season ever!