“The flu” that people usually refer to is influenza, which is a serious disease that may require hospitalization and sometimes results in death (about 90% of flu deaths in a regular flu season, which lasts from as early as October until as late as May, occur in people 65 and older). From 1976 until 2007, flu deaths in the United States have ranged from a low of approximately 3,000 to as many as approximately 49,000.
How can you reduce your chances of getting seasonal flu?
1. Get The Annual Seasonal Flu Vaccine
The best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and to reduce the chances of you spreading the flu to others is to get an annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine). There are two flu vaccination methods: a flu shot in the arm that contains inactive (killed) virus that can be given to both healthy people and those suffering chronic medical conditions, from age 6 months and older, or the nasal spray flu vaccine that contains live but weakened virus that does not cause people to get the flu (the nasal flu spray is approved for people from 2 through 49, except for pregnant women). People over 65 are usually recommended to receive the high-dose flu vaccine. People with certain medical conditions should not receive the flu vaccine (consult with your health care provider(s) about whether you should receive the flu vaccine, when you should receive the flu vaccine, and which vaccine you should receive). Click here to read more about who should get the flu vaccine.
The seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses that international surveillance of the types and strains of viruses in circulation and the predictions of scientists determine to likely be the most prevalent in the current flu season, which may change from year to year. It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu vaccination for the body to build up antibodies that protect against the influenza viruses in the vaccine.
For the 2012 – 2013 flu season, the most recent data suggest that the current seasonal flu vaccine has reduced the risk of having to seek medical attention for the flu by about 60% for people who are vaccinated. The current 60% effectiveness is considered to be moderate, which has been shown to reduce flu-related illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations, and deaths.
2. If You Get The Flu, Stay Home From School/Work
Symptoms of flu may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue (some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea). People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. If you come down with flu-like symptoms, even if you are not sure that you have the flu, it is important that you stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine (except to get medical care or for other necessities). This is important to reduce the chances that you will infect others with the flu. Also, limit your contact with others as much as possible while you are sick to keep from infecting them.
3. Additional Simple Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Chances Of Getting The Flu
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth so that you do not spread germs. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu, such as telephone handsets, sink faucet handles, etc.
If someone you know got the flu and suffered serious consequences (including death) as a result of not receiving timely or appropriate medical care, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney who may agree to investigate the possible medical malpractice claim.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to assist with the medical malpractice claim or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959.
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