Getting vaccinated against the flu every year is the most important step you can take in preventing the flu!
DOH-Charlotte encourages residents and visitors to contact their private health care provider or get vaccinated using a local walk-in service. Many pharmacies offer flu vaccines for a low-cost, on a walk-in basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
Why is it so important to prevent the flu?
Prevent severe illness. In the U.S., the flu puts about 200,000 people in the hospital each year.
Prevent flu-related death. Each year, over 36,000 people in the U.S. die because of the flu—most are 65 or older. More people die from flu than from any other vaccine-preventable disease.
Prevent missed school and missed work. According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the flu costs American businesses more than $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.
Protect other people. You should get vaccinated if you live with or care for others who are at high risk of complications from the flu. Flu vaccinations protect you, your family members, and your community.
Tips to prevent the Flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Keep your hands away from your face
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Stay home if you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing
- You can still spread germs up to 7 days after getting sick
What to Do if You Get the Flu?
Follow these simple steps if you do get the flu to feel better faster.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Get plenty of rest
- Sleep and take it easy
- Take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) to relieve your fever and aches
- Over-the-counter cold or cough medicines may also relieve some flu symptoms, check with your doctor
- Do not take aspirin products without physician approval
- Consider layered apparel for body temperature changes
- Wash your hands frequently
- Don't share cups and eating utensils
Most people who get the flu recover without having to see their doctor. If your flu symptoms worsen, or if you have a high temperature for more than a few days, or if you seem better but then feel worse, call your doctor right away.
For more flu information including prevention, symptoms and treatment, visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu
Influenza Fact Sheet
Pneumonia Fact Sheet
CDC's Weekly US Map: Influenza Summary Update