|Influenza is a seasonal disease that spreads via airborne droplets and contaminated surfaces. It's highly contagious - people can spread the flu even if they don't know they’re sick.
|Steps to help you stay healthy and protected from the flu|
|Get the seasonal flu vaccine
Most deaths and hospitalizations from influenza and its related complications occur in babies, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. But the majority of flu is spread by young, healthy, unvaccinated children and adults. That's why vaccination is such an important part of flu prevention.
To find out where to get your flu vaccination, use the flu vaccine locator tool
or contact the health resources service at 211info.org
or by calling 211.
- Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Use soap and warm water. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can find these products in most supermarkets and drugstores.
- If the hand sanitizer is a gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.
Other ways to reduce the spread of the virus
- Clean work and household surfaces often
- Wear a mask if you have a weakened immune system
- Ask your family, friends and health providers to get a flu vaccination
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise and eat well
- Manage any chronic conditions
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- Stay home if you become sick
People who smoke get the flu more easily and get sicker when they do. This is also true of people who breathe secondhand smoke, especially children and senior citizens. Quit smoking now. Call the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free coaching and advice on quitting. The call is free and confidential. Patches or medicines to help you quit may be available. For more, go to www.quitnow.net/oregon.