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Top 10 Questions about Human Influenza

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  1. How can I reduce my risk of catching flu? You and your family can reduce the risk of contracting seasonal flu by having a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is available for anyone over the age of six months and for people who are under 65.
  2. How effective is the flu vaccine? It is between 70 percent and 90 percent effective.
  3. What types of vaccines are available for seasonal flu? The seasonal flu vaccine is available as a shot, which is approved for adults and children older than six months. It is also available as a nasal spray, which is approved for children older than two years and for adults (except pregnant women).
  4. What other things can I do to cut down the risk of contracting flu? You can help cut down your chances of contracting seasonal flu by washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Carrying a hand sanitizer with you can help keep germs from your hands when you are out in public places such as on the train, bus, shopping or at work. When you cough and sneeze remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and not your hands.
  5. How can I prepare for a pandemic? You can do this by making a list of important contacts including health care providers, schools, work colleagues and family and friends. Ensure that you have enough food, water and essential items for at least two and up to twelve weeks in your home, in case you are required to stay indoors for the duration of the pandemic. Make plans with family and friends about what you will do if family members become sick. Talk to your family physician about flu vaccines and other necessary health needs, particularly if you have someone at home who is suffering form a chronic illness.
  6. How can I reduce the risk of flu spreading at home? Keep dishes clean at all times. Replace kitchen sponges regularly as they can harbor germs. Ensure that food is cooked properly and do not share utensils or drinking vessels.
  7. How can I stay healthy during flu season? To avoid swine flu make sure you stay in good health. Get enough sleep at a regular time each night. If you are feeling tired you may want to retire earlier. If you are having trouble sleeping you may want to discuss this with your doctor. Eat healthy meals at regular intervals throughout the day. Get plenty of exercise. Try to exercise at least three times each week, even a twenty minute walk will make a significant difference.
  8. Can stress make me more vulnerable to the flu? Try not to let your stress levels get out of hand as stress can lead to a suppressed immune system which will make you more vulnerable to influenza.
  9. If I contract the flu should I stay home? If you have a fever, (a temperature of 100 degrees F), you should stay at home for at least twenty four hours after your fever has ended. During this time you should not go to work, school, and do not travel or go shopping.
  10. What should I do if I think a family member has the flu? If you think that you or a family member may be suffering from symptoms of flu, you should speak to your family physician straight away.

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