As influenza, commonly known as the "flu," season approaches, it is important for everyone to be aware of symptoms of the flu, as well as how you can prevent this contagious illness. It is especially important for older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions to be aware of how to protect themselves.
There are many websites that provide information about the flu, flu prevention techniques, and where to receive a flu vaccine. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has a website available that provides information on what the flu is, symptoms of the flu, how to avoid getting and spreading it, and information on the flu vaccine. To see more of this basic information on the flu, please visit http://health.mo.gov/living/families/handwashing/flubasics.php.
Additionally, there are national organizations that are great sources for information on the flu. The National Center on Aging (NCOA) has an educational campaign called "Flu + You" to help educate older adults about influenza and prevention. NCOA also provides links to more information on the flu for all adults; these can be accessed here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has information on the flu season, with information specific to 2012-2013. The CDC also has information specific to people at "high risk," including adults 65 years and older and individuals with chronic health conditions like heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Overall information on the flu from the CDC can be found on their site http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
One of the common themes between all sites talking about the flu, is flu prevention. Flu vaccines are available to individuals as a means of preventing contracting this contagious illness. To find a flu clinic near you in Missouri, click on this link to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Scheduled Flu Clinics website. Hover your mouse over the county you live in, and then click the link in the pop-up to "View Clinic Schedule".
Take steps now to protect yourself, your family, and your friends from this year's flu season!