Wednesday, 13 February 2008

CDC Says "Take 3" this flu season!

Influenza is a serious disease. Each year in the United States, on average:

* 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu;
* More than 200000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and;
* About 36,000 people die from influenza.

Take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.
1. Vaccinate: Take time to get a vaccine.
* A flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu.
* The influenza vaccine protects against three different influenza viruses.
* Getting a vaccine is very important for people at high risk of serious complications from
influenza and their close contacts. People at high risk include infants, pregnant women,
people with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, and people aged 65
and older.
* This year, a level of the supply of vaccine is available, more people than ever before can
seek protection from the flu.
* Because the flu season can last as late as May, getting a flu vaccine now can still be useful.

2. Stop Germs: Take daily preventive actions.
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, discard the tissue
away after you use it.
* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If
you are not near water, use alcohol to clean hands.
* Avoid as much as possible from people who are sick.
* If you have the flu, stay home from work or school. If you are sick, do not go near other
people so as not to make you sick.
* Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Propagation of germs often in this way.

3. Antivirals: take antiviral drugs your doctor if you need it.
* There are flu antiviral drugs that can treat influenza or to prevent infection with influenza
virus.
* For treatment, antiviral drugs must be started within 48 hours of falling ill.
* In the area of prevention, anti-viral drugs are 70% to 90% effective in preventing infection.
* These drugs must be prescribed by a health care provider.
* If you develop flu-like symptoms (usually high fever, headache, extreme fatigue, dry
cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches), or are exposed to the flu
before 'get a flu vaccine, your health-care professional D├ęcidera if you have to make
antiviral drugs.

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