Proper Hand Washing Is Something Everyone Can Do
With most of the country seeing large numbers of people battling the flu, the American Red Cross has steps people can take to help prevent the spread of the virus and urges people to get their flu shot now.
Information on what to do if someone has the flu is available as part of the free Red Cross First Aid mobile app available for iPhone and Android devices. Details about influenza and what people can do during the current outbreak are also available on this web site.
GET FLU VACCINE NOW Getting a flu vaccine is the best step people can take protect themselves from the virus. “Flu season doesn’t peak until late January or February and can last until May, so it is not too late to get a flu vaccine,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, Chief Medical Director for the Red Cross. “It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide full protection, so the sooner someone gets vaccinated, the sooner they will be fully protected.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. Those with chronic conditions like pulmonary and cardiovascular illness, residents of nursing homes and other facilities and those with many other medical conditions are especially urged to get a flu shot. Full details are available on the CDC web site. There have been some reports that the vaccine supply is running short in some areas.
WASH YOUR HANDS Washing hands properly is an important step to avoid getting the flu.For visibly soiled hands, first wash with soap and warm water. When using soap and water:
If using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
SNEEZING AND COUGHING If someone has to cough or sneeze, they should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue and wash their hands afterwards. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow or upper arm, not their hands.
MORE SAFETY STEPS
You can find more information about how to help keep you and your loved ones protected by visiting redcross.org/FluTips.