Vaccinate, if you can
Flu is a very contagious respiratory illness, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes that the best way to prevent it is to get vaccinated each year.
The CDC says the vaccine is a good match to the circulating viruses. Although influenza vaccination is recommended for all individuals 6 months and older, it is especially important to consider for the following people who are at higher risk of influenza-related complications:
• All children between 6 months and 5 years of age, but especially those between 6 months and 2 years of age;
• Adults 50 years of age and older, especially those 65 years and older;
• Adults and children with chronic disorders;
• Pregnant women;
• Children age 6 months through 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy;
• Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
• Persons who are immunosuppressed;
• Health care workers;
• Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than age 5 and adults 50 years of age and older;
• People who are morbidly obese (those with a body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or greater).
Stop the spread
The public is also reminded of the importance of following basic infection-control measures to help prevent the spread of the flu. These include covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or cloth when coughing and sneezing, washing hands frequently and staying at home when sick.