1. The first and most important step is to get a flu vaccination each year. 2. If you get sick with flu, take prescription antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Early treatment is especially important for the elderly, the very young, people with certain chronic health conditions, and pregnant women. 3. Take everyday preventive actions that may slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu. This flyer contains information about everyday preventive actions.
How does flu spread? Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes. Many other viruses spread these ways too. People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to spread flu to someone else before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick. Young children, those who are severely ill, and those who have severely weakened immune systems may be able to infect others for longer than 5-7 days.