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Flu season

As the days grow shorter and the winter months approach, it’s time to start thinking about flu season, how to avoid it, and what to do if you get sick. The flu (otherwise known as influenza) is a contagious disease that affects the body’s respiratory system. The most common flu symptoms include coughing, sore throat, and fever.

Flu Vaccines

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu is to get the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everybody 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccine is readily available from your health care provider, local board of health or local pharmacy. You can also look for community-based flu vaccination clinics which may be scheduled at a location near you.

Staying Healthy

In order to stay healthy this winter, it’s crucial to protect and care for yourself and others. Adopting these best practices can help you avoid the flu:

  • Wash your hands often;
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow; and,
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes after sneezing or coughing, or after touching surfaces in public places.

Treatment

So what to do if you or someone you love gets sick this flu season? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) provides information on caring for someone with the flu. The following steps can be taken to help recover:

  • Keep the room temperature cool;
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing;
  • Drink plenty of fluids; and,
  • Take fever-reducing medicines.

It’s never too early to educate yourself, your friends, and family about the flu. Take the necessary precautions and get your flu shot today for a flu-free winter.

Have questions or comments? Share below or tweet us @Massgov.

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