Preventing Seasonal Influenza
Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death.
How to protect yourself, your family and others from the flu.
- The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year!
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue (be sure to throw away any used tissues)
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow
- Wash your hands often
Seasonal influenza vaccinations are generally available by the middle of September each year. After you are vaccinated, it takes about two weeks for your body to make antibodies to protect you from the flu, so the earlier you get vaccinated, the better. Availability of flu vaccine depends on FDA licensing and the ability of manufacturers to ship vaccine to providers.
- fever* - It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- body aches
- sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
- Limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, 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 for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
- 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.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
The CDC encourages all people aged 6 months and older be vaccinated every year.
Flu season is fast approaching. With the ongoing COVID pandemic, when, how and where patients get immunized may look a little different this year. Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with CDC, has two tools to help patients find flu vaccine and influenza antiviral drugs.
Information For Healthcare Professionals
- CDC: Vaccine Information Statements (VIS)
- CDC: Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Resources for Health Professionals
- CT DPH Reporting Forms and Additional Information
- How to Administer Influenza Vaccines
- Questions and Answers about influenza vaccinations, Immunization Action Coalition website
For Employers and Employees
FLuVaxView - Influenza vaccination coverage estimates