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Day of answers: Everything you need to know about flu prevention/protection

Posted at 3:34 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 18:30:24-04

Flu season is quickly approaching and here at WMAR-2 News, we want to make sure you have all of the information you need to keep you and your family healthy. 

On Tuesday, we will be hosting multiple Facebook lives, as well as a live interview on Good Morning Maryland and the 5 p.m. newscast, with ChoiceOne Urgent Care to answer all of your flu questions.  They will be talking about preparedness and prevention tips, fly myths, different types of flu vaccines, the difference between ER and UC, and your options for getting treated for the flu. 

Ahead of the Facebook lives on Tuesday, here are some tips from ChoiceOne Urgent Care:

Take action to prevent the flu:

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, flu vaccines protect against the 3 or 4 viruses that research suggests will be most common. Three-component vaccines contain an H3N2, an H1N1 and a B virus. Four component vaccines have an additional B virus component. (See Vaccine Virus Selection for this season’s vaccine composition.)
  • Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
  • Flu vaccination also has been shown to significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza.
  • Also, there are data to suggest that even if someone gets sick after vaccination, their illness may be milder. *
  • CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. Learn more about vaccine timing. * Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. * 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 them.
  • Studies have shown that flu vaccination of the mother during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth from flu infection for several months. People who live with or care for infants should be vaccinated.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • 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 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.

As part of their partnership with WMAR-2 News, ChoiceOne Urgent Care is offering $15 flu shots for all viewers. You can get that coupon by clicking here.