Influenza is widespread this year and has been associated with many hospitalizations and deaths. Though this year's flu immunization has been reported to be about 30 to 35 percent effective in preventing one strain of flu, it is effective in protecting you from other circulating strains of the flu. If you do get the flu, the vaccine might cause you to have milder symptoms.
Another reason to get your flu shot is to protect others. Infants who are too young to be immunized, pregnant women, older people, and people who have chronic health conditions are particularly vulnerable to influenza. It’s not too late. Find out where to get your flu shot here.
Three Actions to Fight the Flu this Flu Season
Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. You have the power to protect yourself and your family this season with these three actions to fight flu.
- Get a flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.
- Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you become sick, limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get the flu, medicine, called antiviral drugs, can be used to treat flu illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. Learn more about how you can fight the flu this season at www.cdc.gov/fightflu
The Flu: What should I do if I get sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your healthcare provider. Click here to learn more about what to do when you are sick, when it is appropriate to go the Emergency Room, and how long you should stay home.
Parents: What You Need to Know this Flu Season
The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia. Most children who die from flu have not been vaccinated.
have the power to protect your family from flu this season by getting vaccinated and making sure everyone in your family 6 months and older gets their yearly flu vaccine too.
This season, only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended for use. The nasal spray vaccine is NOT recommended for use during the 2016-17 season because of concerns about how well it might work. Learn more about the flu vaccine options available for children this season at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm.
Keep your family healthy and strong this flu season. Fight the flu. Get your family vaccinated.
Older Adults Need a Yearly Flu Shot!
While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons adults 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease making it especially important for older adults to get an annual flu shot. People 65 years and older are at higher risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young, healthy adults because human immune defenses become weaker with age.
Influenza is often quite serious for people 65 and older. It’s estimated that between about 70 percent to 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 percent to 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States have occurred among people 65 years and older.
However, one recent study showed vaccination reduced the risk of flu hospitalization by more than half in people 50 and older. A yearly flu vaccine is the first and best protection against the flu and flu-related complications.
You have the power to fight the flu this season and protect yourself as well as the ones you love from flu. If you are 65 or older, or live with or care for someone who is, get your yearly flu vaccine. For more information about flu and flu vaccines, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm.