Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. There are additional steps you can take to keep yourself and your family healthy this flu season.
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu.
- Take everyday precautions, like washing your hands, to protect your health.
- If you are exposed to or caring for someone with the flu, talk to your doctor about preventive antiviral medications.
What is the best way to protect myself and my family from the flu?
Everyone 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in your area.
What everyday steps can I take to stop the spread of germs?
There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
Are there medications I can take to prevent getting the flu?
If you are healthy but exposed to a person with the flu, antiviral drugs can prevent you from getting sick. The sooner you are treated with an antiviral, the more likely it will prevent the flu. Antiviral drugs are 70% to 90% effective at preventing the flu. Talk to your health care provider if you think you need antiviral drugs.
Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work & School
The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.
Good Health Habits
- Avoid close contact.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Cover your cough. Stop the spread of germs that makes you and others sick.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- Wash Your Hands Often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.
Stop the Spread of Germs
Healthy habits can protect everyone from getting germs or spreading germs at home, work, or school.
Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.