Every year people want to know what kind of flu season to expect so they can be prepared. While the flu is studied annually to identify possible problem flu strains that may show during flu season, the one constant is how you can prepare for it and prevent it from spreading – get your flu shot.
And don’t just get your flu shot to protect yourself, but think of those who are most at-risk — the elderly, the young or people with chronic health problems. Even if you’re not worried about getting sick, if you’re infected with the virus, you’re still a potential source of infection for those people.
As you attend holiday celebrations and other social gatherings over the next few months, be sure to practice good health habits and:
Wash your hands often. The most common way to catch the flu is to touch your own eyes, nose or mouth with germy hands. So keep your hands clean, and away from your face. Wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds, or about the amount of time it takes you to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Also carry hand sanitizer.
Keep your distance when you are sick or if you are around someone else who is sick. One gift you can give others is to help prevent other people from catching your flu. You should stay home from work, school and public places when you are sick. (Keep in mind you can still spread germs up to seven days after getting sick).
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing, but never your hand. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
Find the closest flu vaccine to you here.
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