Flu season is here. This flu season, each and every one of us will play an important role in the Flu affects our community. We recommend that you and your family plan now for the flu season. We strongly encourage you to include the following actions in your plan.

Vaccinations

The best way to protect you and your family against the flu is with a vaccination (a flu shot). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot.

This year, one shot protects against seasonal flu and 2009 h3N1! You and your family members should get a flu shot as soon as possible. Talk to your Primary Care Provider (PCP) if you have questions about getting a flu shot. If you're a Colorado Access member, you can find more information at http://www.coaccess.com/flu-shot.

Prevention Methods

In addition to vaccines, there are several prevention methods you and your family can practice in order to prevent getting or spreading the flu.

Good hand washing is the best way to protect you from the flu, and is also a proven prevention method against other illnesses. Make it a family habit to wash your hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do this throughout the day, especially before eating or drinking, after using the bathroom, or after coughing or sneezing. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you do get sick, it is very important that you stay home, so that you do not get anyone else sick. Anyone with flu-like symptoms, including a fever of 100°F, should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.

When caring for a sick family member at home, try to keep them in a room to themselves. If possible, have only one person provide care. That person should try to avoid being directly face-to-face with the sick person, and they should wash their hands frequently with soap and water. Encourage the sick person to wash their hands frequently, cover their cough or sneeze, and avoid sharing personal items.

Here are other prevention methods:

  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay at least six feet away from people who are sick with flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or fever.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue or use your sleeve if necessary.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Do not share food, drinks, or utensils.

Additional Information

The following is a list of web links to information about the flu. If you have any questions about the flu, contact your healthcare provider or PCP.

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