Though reducing the spread of COVID-19 is paramount these days, the flu hasn’t disappeared and, unfortunately, emerges each year. The good news is that there are countless ways to protect yourself and your family. Understanding the facts about the flu and taking preventative measures to reduce infection spread can also reduce the number of needed hospitalizations.
Flu shot facts
Because there is no current approved COVID-19 vaccine, getting the flu shot is more important than ever to ensure that our health care systems are not overwhelmed this flu season. During the 2018-2019 season, an estimated 4.4 million flu illnesses were prevented due to those who got the vaccine.
The flu shot also:
- Protects women during and after pregnancy.
- Reduces the severity of illness in people who get sick.
- Protects those around you, especially those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.
- Can reduce severity and hospitalization rates of those with chronic illnesses, including heart disease and lung disease.
Prevent to protect
Along with getting the vaccine, there are multiple preventative measures you and your family can take to reduce your chance of contracting or spreading the flu.
- Avoid close contact with others who are sick. Limit contact with others if you become sick.
- Do not send your kids to school or go to work if ill.
- If you come down with a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after it is gone. Consider getting tested for COVID-19 if you are unsure if your fever is flu-related.
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched in your workspace and at home.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth and nose when in public, as this increases spread of germs.
- Wear a face-covering in public spaces, as this can reduce the spread of both COVID-19 and the flu.
Make sure you and your family are up to date on immunizations by scheduling a wellness checkup with your primary care provider today. Visit UFHealthJax.org/primary-care/family-medicine to find your nearest provider and request an appointment.