Preventing the Flu
Seasonal influenza activity is now widespread in the state of Missouri. “For those who haven’t already been vaccinated, it is important to know that it’s not too late,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. So, what steps can you take to help prevent you from getting the flu?
- Get a yearly flu vaccination.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
- Stay home while you’re sick and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven 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.
Symptoms of Influenza
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
The flu usually comes on suddenly. If you get sick, drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent dehydration, get plenty of rest and treat symptoms such as fever with over-the-counter medicines. In addition, stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.