Seasonal Influenza (The Flu)

General information on Seasonal Flu

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What is Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each year.

Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu
  • More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications
  • About 36,000 people die from flu-related causes

Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), are at increased risk for serious complications from seasonal flu illness.

Protect Yourself

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year. Find out how to get free flu vaccine from Napa County Public Health.

The following good health and hygiene habits like can also help prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu:

  • Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cartoon children covering coughCover your mouth and nose into your upper sleeve when coughing and sneezing. Practicing this habit will help change the norm from coughing or sneezing into one’s hand. If you use a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and warm water will help protect you from germs. Use hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits.Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Be Prepared

  • Gather a supply of food, water, and other supplies you will need in the event you do not have access to basic services for two weeks or more. A list of suggested supplies you can be found at this website.
  • Teach your children good basic hygiene (washing hands, covering mouth when sneezing or coughing) and make sure they use it year-round. Set a good example by washing your hands often and covering coughs and sneezes with your shirt sleeve or a tissue.

Stay informed

Para más Información en Español

Visite la página de los CDC