Preventing the Flu
Be a Flu Fighter
The flu is annoying to have and easy to spread. It’s a virus that typically shows up in winter, knocking people on their backs with symptoms like excessive coughing, body aches, and a runny nose. The flu is a respiratory disease, so if you’re vomiting, you’re more likely have the “stomach flu”—a different illness that’s often the result of the norovirus.
For most of us, the flu is a crummy ordeal that lasts a couple weeks, but it can be much more dangerous to the most vulnerable members of our community, like young children. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to protect against its spread.
Stop the Flu in its Tracks
- Get a flu vaccine every year. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot before the end of October, but it’s effective throughout flu season. So if you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s not too late!
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way!
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your upper sleeve, not your bare hand.
- Use a tissue to wipe your nose, and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If those aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand gel or disposable wipes.
- Stay home and away from others while you or your family members are sick.
- Wear a mask to cover your face in a medical office, if asked.
Source: The Washington State Department of Health. You can find a full list of resources for prevention, identification, and treatment of the flu here.