You might wonder why talk about influenza now in the month of May.
Generally, information about flu prevention occurs in the fall, followed by flu illness over the fall and winter months, and then a disappearance of the illness from spring through summer.
But this year, things are not following the typical pattern. There were very few cases of flu during the fall and winter months. But since the middle of March, many flu cases (and institutional outbreaks) are being reported, even in those who were immunized, both in CT and throughout the United States. In some cases, influenza has been followed by pneumonia.
There are several important actions you can take to help prevent getting and/or spreading the flu. Use "respiratory etiquette."
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze with a tissue. (If a tissue is unavailable, at least try to cough into your sleeve.) Dispose of used tissues in a trash can.
Wash your hands frequently and properly with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. This is one of the most important actions you can take to prevent the spread of illnesses in yourself and others. (Alcohol-based hand gels remove germs but not dirt.)
Stay home when you are sick so that you don't spread illness to others. If you haven't had a flu shot, see if your primary care provider still has flu shots available or check with your local pharmacy.