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Best Ways to Steer Clear of the Flu
For starters, get a flu vaccine to protect yourself and others, infectious diseases expert says

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SATURDAY, Jan. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The best way for people to protect themselves from the flu is to get vaccinated -- and it's not too late to get a shot, an infectious diseases expert says.

The flu vaccine also protects those who aren't able to get it, including infants younger than 6 months and people with certain allergies and medical conditions, said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn. He is chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Those who think it's too late to get vaccinated should reconsider since flu season lasts until spring, Kahn said in a medical center news release.

UT Southwestern outlines other ways people can reduce their risk of getting the flu:

  • Keep your hands clean. Be sure to wash your hands well and often. If soap and water aren't readily available, opt for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It's also important to be aware of what you touch, including commonly used surfaces and objects like phones, doorknobs and keyboards.
  • Cover up. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. A tissue is best but your sleeve will work if you don't have one handy.
  • Stay home. If you, your child or someone in your household gets the flu, be sure to keep that person home from school or work so they don't spread their infection to others. It's important for people who are sick to stay home until they fully recover.

Those who do end up with the flu should visit their doctor, Kahn recommended. There's no cure for the flu, but antiviral drugs can ease flu symptoms if treatment is started early. The drugs are most effective for people who take them within 48 hours of developing symptoms, he explained.

Chest pains or trouble breathing are warning signs of pneumonia, and should be treated by a doctor right away.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on flu prevention.

SOURCE: UT Southwestern Medical Center, news release, January 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=718481

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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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