secret that we are in the peak of flu season! Whether you are a nurse, primary
care physician, or healthcare professional you are not only susceptible to the
virus itself, but you also play a significant role in helping to protect
patients against influenza. The CDC recommends that all healthcare workers get
vaccinated annually against influenza, as it is the best way to prevent the
flu. They also recommend a yearly flu vaccine for all individuals ages 6 months
What is the flu?
(Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness that can infect the nose, throat, and
sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and can even lead to
How is it spread?
virus is believed to be spread through tiny droplets made when infected
individuals cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets land in the mouths or noses
of those who are nearby. An individual can often spread the flu virus before they
know they are sick. Those infected with the flu are most contagious in the
first 3-4 days after their illness begins.
How can you prevent the flu?
to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the best way to prevent influenza is
by getting a flu vaccine each year.
to avoid close contact with sick people.
you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends staying home for 24 hours
after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities.
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.
your hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not available, use
an alcohol-based hand rub.
touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.
estimates that flu has resulted in between 9.3 million and 49 million illnesses
each year in the United States since 2010
2010, CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 960,000
hospitalizations each year
estimates that from 2010-2018, influenza-associated deaths in the United States
ranged from a low of 12,000 (2011) to a high of 79,000 (2018).
recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.
vaccines CANNOT cause the flu.
vaccines are safe. Serious problems from a flu vaccine are very rare.
the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare
Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) recommends that all
U.S. health care workers get vaccinated annually against influenza.