6 tips to prevent catching the flu

Be prepared for flu season.

December 2, 2019 — National Influenza Vaccination Week and National Handwashing Awareness Week are Dec. 2 to Dec. 8, 2020. According to the Health and Human Services Agency, the 2018-19 flu season was one of the longest seasons in over a decade, lasting 21 weeks, with over 68 deaths in San Diego alone. The best way to keep these numbers down, and protect yourself against another flu season, is by taking preventive measures. Here are some tips to help you prepare for flu season.


Wash your hands

Washing your hands frequently is an easy way to protect yourself from the flu. Make sure to scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. If you are unable to wash your hands with soap and water, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.


Get a flu shot

Sharp Health Plan covers the flu shot as a preventive care benefit at no additional charge. Contact your primary care physician (PCP) to schedule a preventive visit and get a flu shot if you haven’t already. You can also visit a CVS MinuteClinic® location for walk-in appointments.


Avoid close contact

Protect yourself from getting sick by avoiding any close contact with others who are sick.


Stay home when you are sick

Try to stay home as much as possible when you are sick. Do not go to work or school, and avoid running errands to prevent spreading your illness to others.


Cover your nose and mouth and avoid touching your face

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. This may prevent those around you from catching your illness. Unclean hands, coughing and sneezing spread the flu. Also, avoid touching your face. Germs are spread when you touch something contaminated with germs and then touch your nose, mouth or eyes.


Practice healthy habits

Clean and disinfect doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces at home and work to prevent the spread of bacteria, especially when someone is sick. Getting enough sleep, staying active, managing stress, drinking lots of fluids and eating nutritiously is all part of building and maintaining a healthy immune system to fight off the flu.

Find out more about the flu vaccine.


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