Healthy People Can Keep Bug at Bay

People considered at high risk for flu are lining up to get a shot, but healthy people will have to rely on others to stay healthy this flu season.

Cotton-O'Neil infectious disease Dr. Clifton Jones said influenza is transmitted by airborne methods, usually people coughing and sneezing. Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze helps stop the spread. So does taking time off.

"My advice to people if they think they have the flu would be to stay home for one day, five days, depending on how many days they're sick with symptoms," Dr. Jones said.

While talk of washing hands is vital in stopping the spread of colds, Dr. Jones said it really won't do anything to stop influenza. He said the vaccine is the best prevention for influenza. If you don't qualify to get it, encourage those who do.

"With any vaccine, the more people in the community who are immunized, the less epidemic activity you might have to face, so that helps the rest of us," he said.

There are also two prescription medicines that can lessen influenza symptoms, but they need to be started within two days of your symptoms starting.

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