When it comes to protecting you and your loved ones, how much do you know about reducing the risk of flu?
Flu season usually begins around late October and continues well into the new year. Seasonal cases often peak in February, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu virus can hang around through the spring.1
If you or those you care for have not yet gotten a flu shot, there’s still time!
The annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of getting the flu, but remember it takes about two weeks after the vaccination shot for it to become effective.2 During that period, someone who contracts the virus before their shot or before it becomes effective can still get sick. So don’t wait until you or your loved one starts feeling sick.
Certain preventive vaccines are covered in many Humana plans, and flu shots are available to most Humana Medicare members at no additional cost.*
A flu shot’s the number one type of flu prevention.3 But once you and your loved one have been vaccinated, thorough hand-washing is an easy and effective way help reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus.
Also during the winter months, other viruses spread that are not covered by a flu shot, such as the common cold. That makes hand washing and good hygiene all the more important to helping keep you and your loved ones healthy.
Some tips from the CDC on how to properly wash your hands during flu season4:
If you or those you care for are showing flu symptoms like a fever, cough or sore throat, visit your doctor or urgent care clinic right away.
Once they’ve seen a health care provider, those who are sick should:
To keep from spreading the flu to others, be sure to:
This article is part of the Winter 2018 Caring for Health newsletter for caregivers. Check out the latest issue.
* Please refer to the member’s Evidence of Coverage or Benefit Plan Document (Certificate of Insurance or Summary Plan Description), or call Member Services at the number on the back of the Humana member ID card to see if flu shots are covered.
1 “The Flu Season,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed December 15, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm.
2 “Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Influenza Season,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed December 7, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm.
3 “Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed October 30, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.
4 “Wash Your Hands,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed April 10, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/index.html.