The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get the flu shot each year.
Fall is here and it’s time to start preparing for flu season, if you haven’t already. Flu season typically runs from October through March. But it’s best to get the shot before flu begins spreading in your community. That’s why many choose to get the shot in September.
Good health habits can help stop the spread of germs and prevent illnesses like the flu.
Your best line of defense against the flu will be the flu shot, but here are some additional tips to help you and those around you stay well:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and keep your distance from others when you are sick.
Stay home as much as possible when you are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill.
Try to get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
If you get sick with flu symptoms, call your doctor right away.
There are antiviral drugs that can treat flu illness and prevent serious flu complications. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends prompt treatment for people who have the flu (or a suspected flu infection) and who are at high risk for serious flu complications, such as people 65 years and older.
Antiviral treatment works best when started soon after flu illness begins. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen fever and flu symptoms, and shorten the time you’re sick by about one day.