Flu season usually starts in the fall and peaks in January or February. We talk to Doylestown Hospital's certified infection prevention specialists, Krista Doline and Veronica Cessna, about what you need to know when it comes to the flu.
Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing flu germs land in your mouth or nose. But you can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. That is why frequent hand hygiene is such an important part of staying healthy.
The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu. "It's never too late to get a flu shot," says Krista Doline. "Get it as soon as you can to protect yourself and your loved ones."
The shot is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. Doylestown Hospital requires all associates and volunteers to get the flu vaccine every year to protect patients, themselves and their loved ones. That's how important vaccination is.
Where can you get a flu shot? You can talk to your primary care physician, look in the newspaper for flu clinics or check out the internet. There's a ton of information online. Try Flu.gov. On the homepage you can enter your zip code and find flu vaccine providers. Also, Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides lots of important information.
"And, no, you can't get the flu from a flu shot," adds Krista. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection.
Try to avoid contact with sick people. If you are sick, experts recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Feeling very tired
Cold and Flu Prevention Pinterest Board
"People naturally want to visit loved ones in the hospital," says Vera Cessna. "However, if you are sick we ask you not to come to the hospital. You can share your love in other ways; please don't share your germs."
Some people are more likely to experience serious complications from the seasonal flu, including seniors age 65 and older, children (especially younger than 2) and people with chronic health conditions. "Even visiting these people in their homes if you are sick is a bad idea," adds Vera.
If you have been diagnosed with the flu, you should stay home and follow your health care provider's recommendations.
About Doylestown Health
Doylestown Health is a comprehensive system of inpatient, outpatient and community services connected to meet the health and wellness needs of all members of the community. Our independent and nonprofit system is dedicated to healthcare excellence from childbirth to end-of-life care.
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