There are a number of steps you can take to prevent flu infection:
• Get a flu shot
• Avoid contact with sick persons.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or into your elbow. Throw used tissues in a trash can immediately.
• After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel. Follow these steps to properly wash your hands:
1. Wet hands completely with warm water.
2. Apply a generous amount of soap.
3. Spread soap using friction for at least 15 seconds and include all sides of hands, fingers, fingernails, and wrists.
4. Rinse completely.
5. Dry hands while water is still running.
6. Turn off water using a clean, dry paper towel.
• Keep surfaces (desks, computer keyboards, bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters, telephones, remote controls, and toys) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.
Each flu vaccine contains three influenza viruses: one A (H3N2) virus, one A (H1N1) virus, and one B virus. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. The ability of the flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or “match” between the virus strains in the vaccine and those in circulation. The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so it is not possible to get the flu from the flu vaccine. Please understand this seasonal flu vaccine does NOT protect against novel H1N1 flu.