A: The Centers for Disease Control says “take three” actions to fight the flu.
• Take time to get the flu shot. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be the most common for each flu season.
• Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid contact with sick people. If you are sick, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough. Most importantly, wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap is not available, use alcohol-based hand rub.
• Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder or shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. Antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful.
Information provided by Julie Olson, healthcare coordinator, Windsor Manor Assisted Living, 1401 Wall St., Webster City, 515-832-1188.