Flu is upon us. The PA Department of Health reports an increase in flu activity in several regions across Pennsylvania. The best way to prevent getting the flu is vaccination. If you have not received your flu vaccine this season and are still interested, please contact Joanne Mattioni at 610-902-8531. This Week in Wellness offers valuable information on other ways to prevent getting the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a three-step approach to fighting influenza (flu). The first and most important step is to get a flu vaccination each year. But if you get the flu, there are prescription antiviral drugs that can treat your illness. Early treatment is especially important for the elderly, the very young, people with certain chronic health conditions, and pregnant women. Finally, everyday preventive actions may slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.
How does the flu spread? Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through the coughing and sneezing. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose. Many other viruses spread these ways too.
People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick. Young children, those who are severely ill, and those who have severely weakened immune systems may be able to infect others for longer than 5-7 days.
What are everyday preventive actions? Everyday preventive actions are steps that people can take to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness, like flu. These include the following personal and community actions:
What additional steps can I take at work to help stop the spread of germs that can cause respiratory illness, like flu?
Everyday preventive actions can help slow the spread of germs that can cause many different illnesses and may offer some protection against the flu.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov or www.flu.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.