The flu season is already here, and there’s a lot of buzz about the new flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control urges people to get the shot as soon as possible to lower the risk of circulating the virus. In the last few years, those wanting the vaccine had to have two shots to protect themselves against the flu and the H1N1 virus, also known as the Swine Flu. This year, the shot that’s being distributed in the U.S. protects against an influenza B virus, as well as the H1N1 and H3N2 viruses.
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, experts recommend that you wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. MCC has a dispenser of hand sanitizer for clients at the reception desk; however, we do ask that clients stay home and reschedule their appointments if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, especially since many of our clients are dealing with compromised immune systems.
Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle includes eating right, getting enough sleep, adhering to prescribed medications, following the advice of your health care provider, and reducing stress as much as possible. If you are HIV+ and taking antiretrovirals or antimicrobial prophylaxis, the CDC urges you to adhere to your current prescriptions throughout the flu season.