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Prevent the Flu

Influenza or "the flu" is an illness that affects our entire body, including the lungs. As many as 1 in 5 Americans get the flu each year. A virus that spreads from person to person causes flu. The illness can be mild, like a bad cold, or it can be very serious. In fact, people can die from the flu.

You get the flu from other people. The flu virus spreads through coughing or sneezing. It is also spread when a person touches something that a sick person has touched, then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.

Help Prevent the Flu

  • Get a flu vaccine each year.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash them for as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home if you are sick until you have been symptom-free without taking fever reducing medicine for 24 hours.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Eat a healthy diet, exercise and get plenty of rest.

Learn more about flu vaccine safety and find a flu vaccine clinic in your local area.

If you have additional questions about the flu or flu vaccine, please call 1-800-27SHOTS (1-800-277-4687) or visit the CDC’s Seasonal Influenza website or

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