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Office of Emergency Management

Flu (Influenza)

 “Take 3” Actions to Fight the Flu:

Get Vaccinated – Flu Vaccine Finder

Stop Germs

Get Treated if Prescribed

The annual flu shot is the most important step in preventing influenza and staying healthy during flu season. While the flu shot is especially important for those who are most likely to get very sick from flu (such as the elderly and infants), anyone wishing to get a flu shot should do so. The flu shot can also help prevent you from spreading the flu virus to others, even if you never show symptoms. Get the flu shot and help keep our communities healthy.

Take steps to avoid the spread of germs. Avoid close contact with sick people. If you’re sick, don’t expose others. Limit your contact and when you sneeze or cough, cover your nose/mouth with a tissue or elbow. Wash your hands with soap or water or alcohol-based sanitizer. Disinfect surfaces that might be contaminated with germs.
 
Antiviral drugs may be prescribed by a doctor if you get the flu. Those who are at high-risk of serious flu complications should try to go or contact to their health care provider within the first two days of illness. Antiviral drugs can make the sickness milder and shorten the time than you are sick. Antivirals are different than antibiotics. Antibiotics are ineffective against influenza viruses.

Seasonal Flu

Seasonal flu is a virus that spreads and causes annual sickness in the United States and around the world during the fall, winter, and spring.

 

When sick; get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and stay home to keep from getting others sick.

  • Simple over-the-counter medicines are usually all people need to feel better (pain relievers, cough drops, etc.).
  • Children should never be given aspirin when they have the flu since it may cause a rare but serious condition called Reye’s Syndrome. 
  • Most people will not need to see a doctor when they have the flu, but if symptoms become very severe (problems breathing, and extreme weakness) and if fever lasts for more than 2-3 days, call your doctor. 
  • If you have the flu, try to stay at home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without taking fever-reducing medication. Until then, stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

Pandemic Influenza

Pandemic influenza occurs when an influenza virus spreads from person to person around the world and affects a very large number of people. An influenza virus that causes a pandemic would be different than the virus seen in that year’s seasonal flu. 

 

Many of the simple steps to prepare for a flu pandemic are what you should do for an earthquake or wildfire, these include:

  • Store food and water.  During a pandemic, you and your family may not be able to get to a store, so it is important to have water and food items that won’t spoil.
  • Talk to your family members.  It is important to think about the health issues that could affect you and your family during a pandemic or other emergency.
  • Create a medical supply kit and a family emergency health information sheet.  Include prescription medications, pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough/cold remedies, and first aid materials.  List the important medical information that you might need for all of your family, including serious health conditions, allergies, and medications that you and your family need. 

 

Flu Prevention Brochure Cover

 

 

City of Santa Monica © 2018

1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626