According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season lasts from October through May, and hits its peak sometime in January or February. What can you do to stay healthy all the way through?
1. The single most important thing you can do is to get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older get an annual flu vaccine to help protect against influenza viruses. Note, though, that people who are allergic to chicken eggs, people who have had a prior severe adverse reaction to a flu vaccine, and people who developed Guillan-Barre syndrome within six weeks of getting the flu vaccine should talk with their doctor before getting the vaccine. Babies from six months to 2 years of age, people age 50 or older, women who are pregnant and people suffering from a chronic medical condition should get the vaccine as a flu shot. Children who are healthy and non-pregnant adults from 2 to 49 years of age can get the vaccine as a flu shot or as a nasal mist.
2. Practice healthy hygiene habits. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services advises that you clean your hands frequently, either using soap and water or alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer, and refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
3. Try to avoid contact with people who have the flu, and encourage others to get a flu vaccine in order to help limit the spread of the virus.
To learn more about the seasonal influenza, visit Central Florida Regional Hospital online. To find a doctor, make an appointment or get answers to healthcare questions, use our free Consult-A-Nurse® service. You can contact our nurses 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-445-3392.