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Published on September 01, 2016

Take steps to outwit the flu

With fall just around the corner, getting that annual flu shot will soon be on everyone’s mind.

You will be encouraged by healthcare professionals to take the vaccine, unless it’s contraindicated in your case.

The annual shot is widely regarded as the best protection against coming down with influenza, a potentially dangerous illness.

But in addition to the shot, are there other steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of catching the flu?

Yes, according to experts at UHS and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

“Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs,” the CDC advises on its website. Among these are:

  • As much as possible, try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissue paper when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if soap and water aren’t handy, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, because germs are spread that way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, such as tables, countertops and desks, plus other objects around your home or worksite, that may be contaminated with germs.
  • If you do get the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to leave your home for medical care or necessities.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu shot as the first and most important step you can take in protecting yourself and those around you from influenza viruses.

While there are many flu viruses in existence, the vaccine does protect against the ones that research shows will be the most common in the coming months.

If you should get the flu, talk with your doctor about whether an antiviral drug may be helpful in treating the illness.

Antivirals are different from antibiotics, and are available only by prescription.

Flu shots are now available! Call your primary care provider to make an appointment.

To learn more about the flu and flu precautions and treatments, talk with your own primary care provider or visit

Are you ready for flu season?

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