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5 Things People with Disabilities Need
To Know About the Flu

This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated. For updated information on the current flu season, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.

April 8, 2010 10:00 AM ET

  1. The flu can be serious for people with disabilities, if:

    • you have health problems that make it hard for your body to fight off infections.
    • you have lung problems, like asthma or bronchitis
    • you have difficulty walking and moving around
    • you are not able to stay away from people who may be sick with the flu
  2. Plan what you will do if you or your caregiver gets the flu.

    • Create a contact list of local family, friends, and local service agencies that can help provide care for you if you or your caregiver gets sick.
    • Make sure that you know at least two ways of staying in touch with people: land-line phone, cell phone, text-messaging, or email.
    • Ask your health care provider or pharmacist whether flu medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) is safe to take with your regular medication.
  3. Call your doctor or clinic to get your seasonal flu vaccine and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine and encourage others to do so as well, including caregivers and family members.

  4. Take everyday steps to help prevent the spread of germs.

    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Stay away from people who are sick, or stay home if you are sick.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  5. Call your doctor or clinic if you get sick with a cold, cough, sneeze or fever. This could be the flu and you may need to take antiviral drugs.

    • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight the flu.
    • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.


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