know what to do about the flu
Get vaccinated – The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death. It is recommended to get a flu shot once a year. To find a flu clinic near you, dial 2-1-1, or visit Vermont211.org
Prevent the spread of germs – Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid contact with sick individuals. Stay home if you are sick. Cover your nose when you cough and sneeze.
Take flu medications if your doctor prescribes them – If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
Stay hydrated – and drink plenty of fluids.
The Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention encourage all Vermonters to get vaccinated, especially those at high risk of complications.
Vaccination is recommended if you are:
- Age 6 months and older
- At high risk of complications from the flu, or if you are in contact with someone who is at high risk
High-risk groups include:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
- All adults 50 years of age and older
- Residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities
- Healthcare workers
- People with certain chronic medical conditions
- People with a compromised immune system
- Anyone with a condition that can compromise respiratory function
- People at high risk for severe complications from influenza
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine is reviewed each year and updated as needed based on which influenza viruses are making people sick, how much those viruses are spreading, and how well last season’s vaccine protects against those viruses.
How well the flu vaccine works varies from season to season. Each flu season, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention studies how well the flu vaccine protects against flu illness. More information about flu vaccine effectiveness
In June, 2016, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of an interim recommendation that the nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. The ACIP decision follows data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine from 2013 through 2016.ACIP continues to recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.