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Altoona, IA
3770 8th St. SW
(515) 645-9905

Johnston, IA
8779 Northpark Drive
(515) 333-5090

West Des Moines, IA
640 S. 50th St., Ste. 1100
(515) 471-1860

Protect yourself - and your family - from the flu

Seasonal influenza can make you feel miserable and lead to missed days at work or school. The flu can also lead to serious health issues. In fact, in the United States, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year with flu-related complications.

Unfortunately, this year’s flu vaccine is not effective against all strains of the virus. That’s why it’s more important than ever to prevent the spread of this illness.

These steps will help:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you have the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

If you’re healthy but exposed to a person with the flu, antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) may prevent you from getting sick. They may also shorten the length of the flu if you already have it.

Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they’re started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu.

Antivirals are approved for adults and children one year and older. They’re not available over the counter, so talk with a physician if you think you could benefit from this medication.