Influenza Round Table: Don't Get, Don't Spread - 2009 Transcript

Don’t Get, Don’t Spread

[Host] Most people have heard that there is a new influenza H1N1 virus that is spreading among people, and it has been declared pandemic, which means it is spreading worldwide. But questions on many people’s minds are, “What can I do to protect myself from getting the flu?” and, “If I get the flu how can I be sure not to spread it to others if I get sick?” Dr. Bresee, what are some of the things people can do to avoid getting the flu, including the H1N1 flu?
[Dr. Joe Bresee] The same advice we give to prevent seasonal flu will also work against the new H1N1 virus. First, remember that flu spreads when a sick person coughs or sneezes flu germs onto other people or onto surfaces that other people may touch. So we can reduce our risk of becoming ill with an influenza virus by washing our hands often or staying away from other sick people. Also, of course, CDC recommends that each year, people get vaccinated against seasonal influenza viruses to protect themselves. Once a novel H1N1 vaccine is available, this will be an option for people who want to protect themselves against that virus.
[Host] Now, if we do get the flu, what should we do to avoid spreading it to others?
[Dr. Joe Bresee] Well, first, if you’re sick, stay home from work or school to avoid being around as many people as possible. Second, we recommend that you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading the germs. A face mask can work for this, as well. And if you don’t have a face mask, use a tissue.
[Host] Where can we find this information if we need to remind ourselves in the future?
[Dr. Joe Bresee] People should visit www.flu.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
[Host] Thank you, Doctor.

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Page last reviewed: June 18, 2014