Flu Prevention Tips
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that easily pass from one person to another by coughing and sneezing.
For most people, the flu makes them feel very sick, but they generally get better in about a week. However, young children, people over age 65, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions may develop serious complications from the flu including dehydration, pneumonia, and worsening of medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma.
Here are some tips to stay healthy:
- Get a flu shot every year. The CDC recommends that college students protect themselves by getting vaccinated against regular seasonal and H1N1 flu as soon as possible. The combination seasonal flu/H1N1 vaccinations are available now. Getting a flu vaccine also means that you will not pass the flu to others.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw tissues away and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This decreases the chance that you will get the flu virus or other germs into your body, or that you will pass the flu to others.
- Clean things that are touched often. Clean things that are touched often at home, work or school, such as door or refrigerator handles, computer key boards/mouse, phones and water faucets.
- Avoid close contact with others who are sick. Avoid unnecessary holding, hugging or kissing anyone who has a cold or the flu. People with young children, immune system problems or a chronic illness should avoid large crowds, unless necessary.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health