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Nov 23

Flu Update

Posted by Scott  filed under Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the likelihood that both the seasonal flu viruses and the virus which causes COVID-19 will be active this fall and winter.  This increases the potential strain on healthcare systems, some of which are maxed out dealing only with COVID-19. 

A premium step you can take to protect yourself, along with wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and keeping social distance when necessary, is get your flu shot. 

The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19, but it can significantly reduce your risk of serious illness, severe symptoms, hospitalization or even death from the flu.  The flu vaccine is recommended every year for everyone 6 months of age and older with rare exception.

Remember to do the following to help protect yourself and those you love:

  • When washing your hands, wash thoroughly with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds to remove possible germs
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when washing is not practical or possible.  Wipes can also help when you’re out and about
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer)
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks or eating utensils
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat healthy and hydrate
  • Remain active; exercising helps keep your immune system strong
  • Wash your bathroom and kitchen hand towels often
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Keep your surroundings clean, especially bathroom and kitchen surfaces.  While you are at it, commonly touched surfaces should be frequently cleaned, too.  Think doorknobs, light switches, cabinets, drawer handles, refrigerator and freezer door handles, remote controls, cell phones, keyboards, tablet screens, and any other items used often and those used by other family members.

And by the way, antibiotics are not recommended for the cold or flu virus because they are only useful for bacterial infections.  That is why your provider will not prescribe antibiotics for a viral infection.  

For more information on the flu this season, visit the CDC Website or talk to your primary care provider.