Every flu season, as many as 20% of Americans get sick with the flu ̶ a virus that causes uncomfortable, even lethal complications. Fortunately, you do not have to settle for the inevitable. Here are some tips for staying safe this cold and flu season.
Get a flu vaccine
Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from this avoidable illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The seasonal flu vaccine doesn’t just protect you; it also protects those around you.
How much does a flu vaccine cost?
As a Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) member, you can get your annual flu vaccine at no cost to you! Adults may have an office visit co-pay at the time of service.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Other things you should know about the flu
Wash your hands
Remember to wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Touching a contaminated object leaves germs on your hands that can cause the flu or cold. Handwashing gets rid of the bacteria and viruses that cause cold and flu.
Take Care of Your Health
A healthy immune system helps you fight off winter illnesses. Improve your overall health by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. Managing stress also increases your immune function.
Avoid Sick People
Someone who has a cold or the flu can spread it to others through close contact. Minimize contact when possible, and practice good handwashing when it is unavoidable.
What if I Get Sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to get medical care.
The CDC recommends that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu (for example, people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with the flu and are at high risk of severe flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a high-risk medical condition.
Now’s the time to prepare for cold and flu season. Take preventive measures to avoid getting sick, and have the things you need on hand in case you do get sick.
Thinking about these things now will help you be prepared during the coming cold-weather months.
CCHA care coordinators can help you connect with a provider, assess your needs and gain access to resources to help you manage your family’s health.
Call CCHA Member Support Services
303-256-1717 | 719-598-1540 | 1-855-627-4685 (TTY 711)
Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm