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CDC Says “Take 3” Actions To Fight The Flu

It’s flu season again, and now is the time to protect yourself and others from coming down with the flu.  Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

The CDC urges you to “Take 3” actions to fight the flu.

man getting a shot in the arm1.  Take time to get a flu vaccine.

A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step you can take to protect against flu viruses.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.  Vaccination of high-risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.  People at high risk of serious flu complications include:

Vaccination also is important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high-risk people to keep from spreading flu to high-risk people.

Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but they are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.

Find a location where you can get the vaccine.


young boy sneezing into a kleenex, assisted by an adult2.  Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Use your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.



doctor writing a prescription3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.

Antiviral drugs:

  • are different from antibiotics
  • are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter
  • can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick
  • may also prevent serious flu complications.

For people with high risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.

Flu-like symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue.

Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and also have respiratory symptoms without a fever.


If you or someone you care for is sick with the flu, you may find the following helpful:

Taking Care of Yourself. Learn what you can do to help yourself recover from the flu.

Taking Care of Someone Who is Sick. Learn what you can do to help your family this flu season.


This article is taken from CDC Says “Take 3” Actions to Fight the Flu.

For more information:

Go to the Cold and Flu health topic.