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DonnaLazorik Posted by Donna Lazorik, RN, MS. Donna is the Immunization Coordinator in the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

This year’s flu season is turning out to be a tough one. Still, the single best way to protect yourself from getting sick is by getting vaccinated — even if you got the flu shot last year. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year. In addition, there are a few simple steps everyone should take to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. 

1) Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.

2) Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.

3) Stay home if you are sick.

But what if you or a family member comes down with the flu? Now there’s an informational resource available on how to care for flu patients at home. It’s a brochure called Flu: What You Can Do, and it explains basic concepts such as

  • What’s the difference between a cold and the flu
  • How to keep from getting the flu
  • How to care for someone who has the flu
  • When you should call the doctor, or seek immediate assistance through 911

Flu: What You Can Do is available at no cost in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Khmer, and Chinese. All versions are available for immediate download or in hard copy format here.

For more information about flu, flu vaccine, and other ways that you and your family can stay healthy this flu season, please visit www.mass.gov/flu or call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Immunization Program at 617-983-6800.

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