Preparing For The Flu Season
In the Northern hemisphere, winter is the time for flu, but the exact timing and duration of flu seasons vary. While seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.*
THOSE WHO ARE MORE AT RISK:
- People over the age of 65 (but age is not the sole determinant of risk for severe illness or death)
- Children ages 6 months to 4 years
- Nursing home residents
- Adults and children with heart or lung disease
- People with compromised immune systems (including people with cancer and HIV/AIDS)
- Pregnant women
CDC - People at High Risk For Flu Complications
1) TAKE EVERYDAY ACTIONS & PRECAUTIONS TO STAY HEALTHY:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth to reduce the spread of germs to yourself or others.
- Avoid close contact with others who have, or complaining of, flu-like symptoms.
- Avoid touching "public" surfaces (door handles, elevator buttons, counter tops, etc.) with bare hands.
- Kill germs before they have a chance to spread!
- Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough, sneeze, handshake or touching "public" surfaces.
- Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
- Use disinfecting cleaning products to clean work surfaces, phones and keyboards.
- Sanitize Books, toys and other items used by others. Read more.
- Wear surgical gloves and N95 mask if you must be exposed to the public during an epidemic/pandemic event.
2) GET A FLU SHOT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu.
How Vaccines Work: Vaccines prevent diseases that can be dangerous, or even deadly. Vaccines greatly reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. This fact sheet explains how the body fights infection and how vaccines work to protect people by producing immunity.
3) LEARN THE SYMPTOMS OF FLU: Some of the most common symptoms include fever or chills, cough or sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. If you think you may have the flu:
- Contact your healthcare provider as soon as you can to schedule an appointment.
- Stay/work at home (self-quarantine).
- Wear surgical gloves and mask if you must expose yourself to the public.
4) STAY INFORMED: Visit the following websites for additional information.
* Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Health, First Aid, Prescriptions & Survival Medicine
A Guide to the Seasonal Flu for Seniors