Protect Yourself and Your Community from Influenza
Influenza (the flu) is a serious, contagious respiratory illness that, if severe, can cause hospitalization and even death. The good news is that it can be prevented. Protect yourself and those close to you from the flu by taking some simple precautions.
- Get a Flu Vaccination—The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot, but it is especially important for certain groups including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older. These groups are at high risk of serious flu complications. Anyone that spends time around these groups of people, including healthcare workers, should also be sure to get immunized.
- Wash Your Hands—A person might get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth and nose. They may even touch another person, spreading it to them, as well. Washing your hands frequently and properly will help cut down on this transmission.
- Cover Your Cough—According to the CDC, flu viruses are mainly spread by droplets made when people cough or sneeze. The droplets land in the mouths and noses of people nearby or can be inhaled. Cover your cough with your elbow or upper arm to avoid this type of spread.
- Stay Home if You are Ill—If you do catch the flu, or feel ill at all, stay home. A person with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away, even just by talking. Avoid passing on your illness; stay home and let your body rest. If you get the flu your healthcare provider may consider prescribing an antiviral, such as Tamiflu, that can help fight the virus.
Flu season typically begins in October and can last until May, usually peaking in January and February. Now is the perfect time to get vaccinated! CCHD offers flu shots during normal immunization hours beginning October 3, no appointment necessary. Flu shots cost $25 for adults and $15 for children; all insurances and payment types are accepted. The cost of the flu shot is covered in full by Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and HMK (CHIP).
Get more information on the flu and learn the answers to frequently asked questions about the flu and the flu vaccine.