While COVID-19 remains on nearly everyone’s mind, now is the time to make preparations for the flu, whose annual season is quickly approaching.
With COVID-19 still spreading, influenza season could be especially complicated for anyone whose immune system is weakened.
The flu has in recent years sickened as many as 45 million people, resulted in 810,000 hospitalizations and caused 61,000 deaths, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority failed to have an annual flu shot, even though the CDC recommends them for most adults and children.
Especially vulnerable to the flu are the elderly, infants, people with weakened immune systems and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and other medical conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Even if you get the flu, the shot can shorten the illness and lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Click here for an extensive list of Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group and Children’s Health offices where flu shots are available, including new drive-thru flu shot locations.
If someone in your home gets sick, the CDC recommends similar precautions as with COVID-19 to keep you and your family safe:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If you get sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
• If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, or with alcohol-based rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
We want to help you fight the flu with confidence. Learn where you can get a flu shot and how to protect yourself and your family at ololrmc.com/fight-the-flu.