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Flu Season

Flu season's here - How to protect yourself, your family

It’s flu season, and if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, don’t put it off. Getting a vaccination against the flu is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from very uncomfortable, and potentially very serious, flu symptoms.

All adults should get the flu shot, except those allergic to eggs and those who have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine before. A flu shot can’t protect you from every one of thousands of flu strains that are out there, but it will shield you from the ones that public health officials believe are the most common and most dangerous. Older adults also should get a pneumococcal vaccine to help protect themselves against pneumonia.

Recognize Flu Symptoms
Unlike a cold, with symptoms that come on gradually, flu usually hits all at once.

Watch for these symptoms:

  • Fever, chills
  • Non-productive cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches/pains
  • Lack of energy
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Chest soreness
  • Occasional nausea

If you think you have the flu, stay home unless you need medical care. In that case, wear a surgical or procedure mask to avoid spreading germs.

What you can do:

  • Get a flu shot to protect yourself against the most prevalent strains of flu
  • Shield coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of tissues in the wastebasket. If you are without a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not into your hands, where germs can lurk and be spread to others.
  • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after coughing or sneezing, using the bathroom, caring for someone who is sick, or handling garbage or animal waste.
  • Keep your living and work areas clean; sanitize surfaces of common areas to cut the spread of germs.
  • Help prevent exposure during outbreaks by avoiding crowds and travel, and working at home if possible.