Take 3: Seasonal Flu

December 16, 2019

Remember the expression “Take
two and call me in the morning”? Well, when it comes to
influenza, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention says it’s best to take three. It could save your life. Dr. Bresee, what does CDC mean
by “take three”? “Take three” is a way for people
to remember the three main actions
they can take to fight the flu. And what are those? Well, first and foremost,
take time to get the vaccine. As always, CDC recommends
seasonal influenza vaccination against seasonal
influenza viruses. Who should be vaccinated? CDC recommends that everyone
6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu
each year. It’s especially important for people at high risk
of severe illness if they get the flu and people
who care for those people. People at high risk for severe
illness if they get infected are pregnant women,
young children, people 65 years
and older, or people with underlying
health disorders, like asthma, diabetes,
or heart disease. And step two? Step two
is to take simple actions to stop the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses
like influenza. This includes
covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze
with a tissue and making sure to throw
the tissue in a trash can when you’re finished. Also, be sure to wash your hands
with soap and water or use alcohol-based
hand cleaners. And three? Three is take antiviral drugs if you get sick with the flu
and your doctor prescribes them. These drugs can make you
feel better faster or make your symptoms milder. Antiviral drugs, remember, work
best if they’re given early, within two days of getting sick. These drugs are really
an important part of a treatment option,
and the priority for their use are among the most
severely ill people, like hospitalized people,
but also people who get sick who have an underlying
medical condition that makes them
more likely to get influenza-associated
complications. So, to recap,
“take three” means to, one, take time to get
a seasonal flu vaccine, two, take everyday
preventive actions, three, take influenza
antiviral medications if your doctor
recommends them. That’s right. Thank you, Doctor. To learn more,
visit or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

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