Protect yourself from the flu

Protect yourself from the flu
Posted on 10/23/2019
Preparing for flu season
From Emily Buck, District Head Nurse

Flu season is approaching! The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that are spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact.  

Symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue. 

Symptoms of the flu are often confused with a common cold due to the similarity of symptoms. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms are more intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu.

There are several ways to prevent getting the flu. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. Mexico 59 School District will be offering the flu vaccine to students and staff this week on October 24.

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

While there are many different flu viruses, flu vaccines protect against the 3 or 4 viruses that research suggests will be most common. Anyone who is six months old and older should consider a flu vaccine annually. 

There are also other ways to help prevent contracting and spreading the flu. 
-Try to avoid contact with sick people or limit contact with people if you are sick. 
-If you have flu-like symptoms stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. 
-Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to throw your tissue in the trash and wash your hands. 
-When washing your hands use soap and water and wash often. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 
-Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent spreading germs. 
-Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. 

If you do end up with the flu, your doctor can prescribe an antiviral like Tamiflu that helps lessen the symptoms and shorten the time that you are sick. Antivirals can also help prevent serious complications from happening. Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 48 hours of getting sick.

For more information visit the CDC website.