Protect Yourself

The CDC encourages you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu):

#1 - Take time to get a flu vaccine.

  • The CDC recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal influenza.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine protects against the three seasonal viruses that research suggests will be most common. 
  • If you still have questions about whether you should get a vaccine, contact your doctor today.

#2 - Take everyday preventive actions.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice) to help protect against germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth - germs spread this way. 
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. 
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you 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 without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 
  • If someone in the household is sick, try to keep the sick person in a separate room from others in the household, if possible. 
  • Keep surfaces like bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters, and toys for children clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other measures to keep our distance from each other to lessen the spread of the flu.

#3 - Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them.

  • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. 
  • The priority use for antiviral drugs this season is to treat people who are very sick (hospitalized) or people who are sick with flu-like symptoms and who are at increased risk of serious flu complications, such as pregnant women, young children, people 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions (Most people have been able to recover at home from 2009 H1N1 without needing medical care and the same is true of seasonal flu). 
  • Antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. 
  • Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter and are different from antibiotics.
  • For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started within the first 2 days of symptoms.

If You Become Sick

What can I do if I get sick?
If you or your child is otherwise healthy and gets flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, make sure you or they get plenty of rest and fluids.

If you or your child has a medical condition like asthma, diabetes, or a neurologic problem and develops flu-like symptoms, ask a doctor if you should be examined. Younger children (especially children under the age of 2) and high risk individuals, who have chronic medical conditions, may be at higher risk of serious complications from flu infection. Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about your illness. If you do not have a doctor, you may be seen without an appointment at 1st Choice Urgent Care located at 1350 Parkway Drive in Blackfoot.

What can I do if I get sick?
Even people who have always been healthy before, or had the flu before, can get a severe case of the flu. Go to the doctor right away if you or your child experiences: 

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing.
  • Bluish or gray skin color.
  • Not drinking enough fluids.
  • Severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Not waking up or not interacting.
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
  • Has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and develops flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov or www.flu.gov or call 800-CDC-INFO.