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Flu information

Texas Department of State Health Services, Influenza (Flu): Prevention

Influenza Prevention

Person washing hands.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that school administrators, teachers, staff, and parents are concerned about influenza (flu), particularly its effects on children. Educators and staff can help slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, enterovirus D68 and influenza (flu). 

 

Learn ways to protect yourself and your family from the flu virus.

Five simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting - or spreading - the flu:

  1. Get vaccinated.
  2. Wash hands frequently.
  3. Cover coughs and sneezes.
  4. Stay home if you're sick.
  5. Convince those around you to follow steps 1 - 4
 

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

This flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age or older.
Children should be vaccinated every flu season for the best protection against flu. For children who will need two doses of flu vaccine, the first dose should be given as early in the season as possible. For other children, it is good practice to get them vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated later can still be protective, as long as flu viruses are circulating. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, in most seasons influenza activity peaks between December and February. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.
 
 

 

 

Flu Vaccine Finder

  • How to Use. Simply enter a city or ZIP code in the Flu Vaccine Finder box.
  • Results. The locator finds providers that are offering—or are planning to offer—flu vaccine to the public in the area entered.
  • Check First. Individuals should first check with their usual health care providers about vaccine availability.
  • Check Direct. DSHS urges the public to check with a listed provider to confirm that information presented in the locator about hours, dates, locations, eligibility and vaccine availability is accurate and current.
  • Local Notices. DSHS encourages the public to also watch for local announcements of flu vaccine availability.
  • Dial 2-1-1. Alternatively, Texans can call 2-1-1 or visit 211Texas.org to find information on vaccine availability from local public health departments and other nearby non-profit organizations.
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Texas Department of State Health Services, Influenza (Flu): Prevention

Influenza Prevention

Person washing hands.

Learn ways to protect yourself and your family from the flu virus.

Five simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting - or spreading - the flu:

  1. Get vaccinated.
  2. Wash hands frequently.
  3. Cover coughs and sneezes.
  4. Stay home if you're sick.
  5. Convince those around you to follow steps 1 - 4.

More Prevention Information:

 

FLUE VACCINATION:

 

 

Flu Vaccine Finder

  • How to Use. Simply enter a city or ZIP code in the Flu Vaccine Finder box.
  • Results. The locator finds providers that are offering—or are planning to offer—flu vaccine to the public in the area entered.
  • Check First. Individuals should first check with their usual health care providers about vaccine availability.
  • Check Direct. DSHS urges the public to check with a listed provider to confirm that information presented in the locator about hours, dates, locations, eligibility and vaccine availability is accurate and current.
  • Local Notices. DSHS encourages the public to also watch for local announcements of flu vaccine availability.
  • Dial 2-1-1. Alternatively, Texans can call 2-1-1 or visit 211Texas.org to find information on vaccine availability from local public health departments and other nearby non-profit organizations.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

  • This season’s flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age or older.
  • The vaccine is available in shot form for all ages who do not have certain health problems and who are not pregnant.
  • The CDC advises against the use of the live attenuated influenza vaccine, commonly called the “nasal spray” vaccine and sold under the trade name FluMist. Research from prior flu seasons measured no protective benefit.
  • There is no priority-group order for receiving the vaccine.
  • People with certain conditions—or who live with people with certain conditions—that put them at high risk of developing serious complications should they get the flu, are especially encouraged to get vaccinated, as are pregnant women.
  • Because babies under 6 months of age cannot receive the vaccine, it is important that family members and others around the babies get vaccinated to protect the babies and themselves.

Vaccine Resources

For your convenience, DSHS has gathered the above additional online resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Except for the Flu Vaccine Finder,  CDC links open in a new window.

 
Last updated October 16, 2017
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