It’s almost that time of year again—flu season. National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), which takes place December 6–12, presents an opportunity to educate and engage your members and patients about the influenza vaccination and the flu. With lots of information about the vaccine and about preventing and treating the flu, the Healthwise Knowledgebase has you covered during flu season.
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The 411 on the seasonal flu
Influenza, also called the flu, is a viral infection that causes body aches, a fever, a dry cough, a headache, fatigue, and a sore or dry throat. Flu symptoms usually come on quickly and are worse than a cold, and it may take 1 to 2 weeks or longer to completely recover. Most flu outbreaks happen in late fall and winter. A yearly flu vaccine, available before and during flu season, can help prevent the flu. You can also reduce your risk for the flu by washing your hands often, getting regular exercise, and keeping your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth. To help you understand the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of the seasonal flu, here’s a resource full of information. [Create a hyperlink to the Influenza (Seasonal Flu) Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=hw122012]
Prepare for cold and flu season
Sneeze. Cough. Ache. It’s no fun to have a cold or the flu. Cold and flu viruses spread most easily in the late fall and winter. To help prevent catching and spreading a cold or the flu, there are a number of things you can do, such as washing your hands often, getting a flu vaccine, and keeping direct contact with others at a minimum. It’s important to understand the difference between a cold and the flu, and how you can treat the symptoms of the viruses. We’ve got everything you need to prepare for cold and flu season in this helpful resource. [Create a hyperlink to the Colds and Flu Learning Center on your website. DOCHWID=center1046]
To get the flu vaccine or not?
You may be wondering whether you should get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine allows your immune system to make antibodies. If you are exposed to the flu later, the antibodies can attack and destroy the virus. Getting the flu vaccine does not guarantee that you won’t get the seasonal flu, but it can make the symptoms milder and lower your risk for developing other health problems from the flu. It is recommended that everyone age 6 months or older get the flu vaccine each year. But getting the vaccine is especially important for people at high risk for developing other health problems from the flu such as pneumonia. Use this interactive guide to compare your options and make an informed decision about the flu vaccine. [Create a hyperlink to the Flu Vaccines: Should I Get a Flu Vaccine? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tb1913]
Wash those hands!
Hand-washing. It’s a simple and effective way to help prevent the flu and other diseases. Washing your hands often, especially during flu season, can reduce your risk for getting or spreading the virus. The flu virus can spread through direct contact, such as shaking hands, contact with small droplets that form when a person sneezes or coughs, and contact with objects such as tissues or handkerchiefs that have been touched by an infected person. This helpful resource describes when you should wash your hands and the 6 steps for proper hand-washing. [Create a hyperlink to the Hand-Washing Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=tv7076spec]
Treat that fever
A fever is your body’s way of fighting an infection or other illness. Viral infections, such as the flu, often cause a fever. Most people have an average body temperature of about 98.6°F. A fever of 102°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is common with the flu. You can usually treat your fever at home by resting and drinking lots of fluids, dressing lightly, and trying a nonprescription medicine. Use this helpful resource to check your symptoms, treat your fever, and know when to see a doctor. [Create a hyperlink to the Fever or Chills, Age 12 and Older Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=fevr4]
Teasers for Your Social Media Networks
- Here’s what you need to know about seasonal flu symptoms, treatment, and prevention. [Insert a shortened URL to the Influenza (Seasonal Flu) Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=hw122012]
- Prepare for cold and flu season with this helpful resource. [Insert a shortened URL to the Colds and Flu Learning Center on your website. DOCHWID=center1046]
- To get the flu vaccine or not? Here’s help making the decision. [Insert a shortened URL to the Flu: Vaccines Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tb1913]
- Are you washing your hands often enough? Learn how this simple step can prevent the flu. [Insert a shortened URL to the Hand-Washing Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=tv7076spec]
- Here’s everything you need to know about treating a fever. [Insert a shortened URL to the Fever or Chills, Age 12 and Older Topic Overview on your website. DOCHWID=fevr4]