If you’ve avoided the flu so far this winter, congrats.
But don’t celebrate too much just yet.
One reason could be that the flu vaccine is nearly 60 percent effective this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But while vaccine effectiveness is up, flu season started slightly later this year, and the CDC warns activity is on the upswing. It’s not too late to get the vaccine if you have yet to do so.
There are several ways you can protect yourself against the flu virus, according to Tekeela Belk, RN, Colonial Life.
“The CDC recommends the vaccine as the first and most important way to prevent seasonal flu,” Belk said. “If you experience flu-like symptoms, contact your primary care provider to start an anti-viral drug. Studies show they work best for treatment when started within two days of getting sick.”
Tips to protect against the spread of germs:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for until you have been fever-free for 24 hours