Every year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu. This year, influenza is at the highest levels recorded in the past decade in North Carolina.
For most people, the flu is a virus that makes you feel terrible. But, the flu can be deadly. In fact, 12 people in North Carolina have already died this year from flu and many more have required hospitalization.
If you are well, protect yourself from the flu by following these three simple, but effective defenses against the flu.
1. Avoid People Who Are Sick – The flu is a virus spread by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Infected people can spread the virus in this way to others who are up to 6 ft. away. Of course, a tricky thing about flu is that you can start to pass the virus up to one day before you have symptoms and for five to seven days after you start feeling sick.
2. Wash Your Hands – Wash with warm water and soap while singing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice. Don’t forget your wrists.
3. Get the Flu Vaccine – The flu vaccine is available now, and now is a great time of year to start building your immunity. Remember, it takes about two weeks to develop immunity after receiving the shot.
Learn more about the flu and how to protect yourself from flu on our flu resource guide.