It’s that time of year again! We always get asked, “How can I protect myself from the flu?” Our answer is simple. If you keep these THREE things in mind, you are doing the best you can to do to prevent the spread of the flu AND protect yourself from getting it.
TAKE 3 – ACTIONS TO FIGHT THE FLU
The CDC recommends a yearly vaccine as the first and most important step to protect yourself against the flu virus. There are many different flu viruses, but the flu vaccine formulated each year, based on research, suggests these flu strains to be the most common. Getting a vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Who should get a flu shot?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot—especially those that are considered high risk:
Did you know people with the flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away!?! Yikes! What you do every day can help stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid those that are sick. If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, STAY HOME! No one else wants to get your germs at work or school so the most responsible thing you can do is respect others and keep your germs to yourself. Give yourself at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, with the exception of getting medical care or other necessities. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth because this is the easiest way to spread germs. Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Take flu antiviral drugs
If you get the flu, that’s a no brainer…come see us! We have all your cold and flu needs at our pharmacy. In addition to necessary over-the-counter items, your doctor may prescribe you antiviral drugs to treat your illness. Antivirals are different than antibiotics. They are prescription medicines and only prescribed from a prescribing medical professional. Antivirals can help make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also help prevent serious flu complications, especially those with high-risk factors. For best results, they should be started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful.
Often times the flu gets confused with the stomach flu, a stomach virus. Influenza is actually a respiratory illness caused by a flu virus. It can be mild to severe and can even lead to death at times. The flu is different than a cold and most commonly more severe. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
For more information on the flu, symptoms, or concerns visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/vaccinations.htm or feel free to stop in the pharmacy to ask our Nurse Fran Cox or our pharmacists Ben Rachwal and David Norris. Remember, the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu is a flu shot, so walk-in today and get yours!
Flu shots we offer
Other ways to boost your immune system
In addition to our suggested TAKE 3, there are other ways to avoid the flu. A healthy immune system is always helpful when trying to fight off infection, colds, or viruses. Here are a few suggestions to improve overall health to strengthen your immune system:
Ask your health care professional or pharmacist about other OTC immune boosting products.