‘Take-3-Actions’ To Fight The Flu

Get a flu shot, avoid sick people, and follow MD, nurse and pharmacist medicine advice says the CDC

As the November 1st deadline approaches, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending 3 steps to protect yourself during the 2018-19 influenza season.

The CDC updated it’s ‘Take-3-Actions’ recommendation, urging everyone to protect yourself and others from influenza this season. 

These CDC recommendations are important since influenza is a serious contagious disease, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. 

As of October 29, 2018, there have been 3 pediatric deaths reported in the USA.   

The ‘Take-3-Actions’ recommendations are as follows: 

  1. Take time to get a flu vaccine: 
  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. 
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community.
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

  2. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

  3. Take flu antiviral medicines if your doctor or pharmacist prescribes them:

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are pills, liquid or an inhaled powder and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Various studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk factor or is very sick from the flu.
  • Always follow your pharmacist, nurse or doctor’s instructions when taking flu medications.

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Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine, says the CDC.   

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. 

There are various flu vaccines available for the 2018-19 season. If you have questions, it's best to speak with your doctor, nurse or pharmacists.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.