Flu Facts & Preventive Tips
What You Can Do To Stay Healthy
Duke faculty, staff and students are encouraged to practice the same kind of hygiene that is recommended every year during flu season:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash after use, and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs are spread this way, and regularly wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who appear to be ill, and regularly wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- If you get sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Lastly, it is essential at a time like this to regularly wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.
Free vaccinations for seasonal flu will be available to all students, faculty and staff this fall. Vaccination for students will be coordinated by Student Health, and vaccinations for faculty and staff will be coordinated by Employee Occupational Health & Wellness (EOHW). Details regarding the seasonal flu vaccine will be communicated when available.
There are two types of flu vaccines:
- "Flu shots" - inactivated vaccines (containing killed virus) that are given with a needle. There are three flu shots being produced for the United States market now.
- The regular seasonal flu shot is "intramuscular" which means it is injected into muscle (usually in the upper arm). It has been used for decades and is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women. Regular flu shots make up the bulk of the vaccine supply produced for the United States.
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for "universal" flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.