Flu season is right around the corner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 out of 10 people will get the flu this year. The CDC recommends a yearly vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is the best course of action, and it can help protect you throughout the entire flu season.
Health Advocate provides information on ways you can reduce your risk of catching the flu.
Get a flu vaccination. Typically, health experts recommend that people get their flu shot in early fall. Early immunization is the most effective, but it is not too late to get the vaccine in December, January or beyond. Many employers offer free flu vaccinations onsite. If your employer doesn’t offer them, you can get a low-cost flu vaccination at retail pharmacy chains. You can also schedule an appointment to get a flu shot from your primary doctor.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. And if you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.
Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Someone close to you might be suffering from the flu – your coworker, your spouse, or the man sitting next to you on the train during your daily commute. While you can’t control what happens to others around you, you can take preventative measures to stay well. If you are a Health Advocate member, call your Personal Health Advocate for more information about flu vaccinations and staying healthy through cold and flu season.