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It’s flu season, and while it may seem like the flu spreads like wildfire every year, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. The medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Frisco recommends the following steps to stay healthy this winter.
1. Get your flu shot. Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Plus, when we get the vaccine, we are also helping to protect those who can’t have the vaccine for medical reasons or babies who are too young for the vaccine. “The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older, without contraindications, be vaccinated,” said Geoff Coates, MD, medical director at Baylor Medical Center at Frisco Urgent Care Clinic – Sports Village. “Those who are 65 or older should get a high-dose vaccine.”
Afraid of shots? Healthy individuals between ages 2 and 49 may have the option of FluMist®, a flu vaccine sprayed into the nose.
“There are some possible side effects with the flu vaccine, such as mild pain at the site and low-grade fever,” said Dr. Coates, “but the benefits outweigh the risks in most people. If you have had problems with the flu vaccine in the past or you have an egg allergy, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.”
2. Avoid people who are ill.Germs travel quickly, so if you know someone who is sick, avoid contact. If you can’t avoid them, wear a mask. Dr. Coates advises avoiding large crowds, like those at malls or concerts during the height of flu season, especially if you have a chronic condition or a suppressed immune system.
3. Wash your hands: The cleaner your hands are, the less likely you are to spread the flu. Remember, all it takes for germs to enter your body is a rub of your eye, nose or mouth. “It’s one of the easiest things you can do to help prevent the flu from spreading to your friends and loved ones,” said Dr. Coates.
Talk with your doctor about flu prevention techniques. Search our online directory for referral to a physician on the Baylor Frisco medical staff.
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