The best way to protect against the flu is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
It is important for you and your family to get the flu vaccine EVERY year, because:
- Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines are updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be most common during the upcoming flu season.
- A person’s immune protection from the flu vaccine declines over time. Yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection.
In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you or your family members are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
Also, if you have a loved one who develops flu-like symptoms, especially those at high risk for flu complications, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for possible treatment with flu antiviral drugs. These drugs work best if given within 48 hours of when symptoms start.
CDC – Prevent Seasonal Flu