Seasonal Flu Prevention Tips From Carlisle Regional Medical Center

CARLISLE, PA (November 15, 2012) – It’s that time of year:  the weather is getting colder, and the sound of coughing is on the rise. In many areas of the United States, including Pennsylvania, the “official” flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

Children and seniors can be particularly vulnerable to the flu. On average, 20,000 children under the age of five are hospitalized each year due to flu complications nationwide. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur each year in the U.S. among those aged 65 years and older.

Some preventative care options to avoid the flu include:

  • Regular season flu shot: The most common flu shot, this intramuscular vaccine is injected into the upper arm and contains the killed flu virus. This vaccination is approved for everyone 6 months of age and older.
  • High dose vaccine: Available since the 2010-2011 flu season, this intramuscular vaccine is injected into the upper arm and is recommended for those aged 65 years and older.
  • Nasal spray flu vaccine: This vaccine is only recommended for people between the ages of 2 and 49 years of age. Unless otherwise advised by your physician, the traditional injection is recommended.

Additional tips to help keep you, your child, and others healthy during flu season:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands (and your children’s hands) often to protect against germs, especially before eating. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose, especially while in public areas.     

Following these easy steps will help prevent you and those around you from getting the flu. For a comprehensive list of flu-related facts, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/flu.