Flu Season 2013-2014

The flu vaccine is your best defense against seasonal flu. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. More information can be found at www.flu.gov

January 29, 2014: Harrington to Require Unvaccinated Staff to Wear Flu Masks


Resources

Find a Public Flu Clinic near you by visiting www.flu.gov
Visit the Center for Disease Control's dedicated page to the 2012-2013 Flu Season
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services website

What are Flu Symptoms and Treatment ?

  • 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children

What is the difference betwen a Cold and the Flu?
The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

Doesn't the flu shot give me the flu?
No. The viruses contained in flu shots are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the flu shot during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe. cough, runny nose or sore throat.

What about natural immunity? Isn't it better to get the flu and not get the vaccine to build your body's tolerance?
Harrington HealthCare System stands by is policy to vaccinate against the flu and many other disease. We respect our communities and families, but in many cases follow the CDC's guidelines on immunizations and policies. We believe the benefits of vaccine-acquired immunity extraordinarily outweigh the serious risks of natural infection. For more information, please read the CDC's webpage on Vaccinations.

How can I protect myself and my family?
The best way to protect yourself is to practice hand hygiene and stay home when you're not feeling well. Some tips from www.flu.gov include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.