Flu prevention and treatment
The following information was provided by HealthPartners.
How can I prevent the spread of the flu?
- Get a flu shot
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol hand sanitizer often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay home when you’re sick
What are the symptoms of the flu?
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
If I get sick, how do I know when I’m contagious and when I can come back to work?
You’re contagious starting one day before your symptoms first appear. It’s recommened you stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using medicines, like Tylenol®, to help lower your temperature.
How can I take care of myself at home?
Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and take medicines, like Tylenol®, to help lower your temperature.
Are antibiotics used for the flu?
No. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections. The flu is caused by a virus. Doctors will sometimes treat the flu with antiviral medicine. But antibiotics can’t treat the flu.
Is there medicine available to treat the flu?
Yes, it’s called an antiviral medicine. Antivirals fight against the flu by keeping the flu viruses from spreading through your body. If you get sick, antivirals can make you feel better faster. They work best when started within 48 hours after your symptoms begin. Antivirals are usually given to people with severe illness or who are at risk for problems from the flu. Check with your doctor to see if an antiviral is right for you.
Should I be concerned about the flu?
Pregnant women and children, as well as adults who have asthma, diabetes or a suppressed immune system, are at high risk of developing problems from the flu.
Seasonal flu vaccines
Do I need more than one flu shot this year? No. The seasonal flu shot covers several strains this year. Everyone over age 9 only needs one shot.
If my child is under the age of 9, will they need two flu shots?
Everyone over 6 months old should get a flu shot each year. Children under age 9 may need two shots. Your doctor’s office can tell you if two doses are recommended this flu season.
Where do I get a flu shot?
- HealthPartners clinics: Go to any HealthPartners clinic – no appointment necessary. You can also go to a HealthPartners urgent care clinic with no appointment and get a vaccine for ages 3 and up.
- Other clinics: Contact your clinic to make an appointment or ask that the flu shot be added to your next visit.
- Pharmacies, discount stores and grocery stores: Stop at a retail location like CVS/pharmacy®, Target®, Cub® and Walgreens.
Can I get the flu from a flu shot?
No. Some people may have some aches or a slight fever after a flu shot, but this is not the flu.
Can I have allergic reactions to a flu shot?
Serious allergic reactions to a flu shot are rare. But if you’ve ever had Guillain Barre Syndrome or a serious allergic reaction to eggs, thimerosal or a previous flu shot, check with your doctor to make sure a flu shot is safe for you.
When should I get a flu shot?
It’s a good idea to get your flu shot as soon as it’s available, so you can be protected right away. Remember, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop immunity from the flu shot.
Is the FluMist available this year?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the FluMist or nasal spray not be used this season because it was proven to be ineffective the last few years. HealthPartners will not be offering the FluMist this flu season.
Are flu shots covered by insurance?
Flu shots are considered preventive care, which is fully covered by most HealthPartners plans. Check your plan information or call Member Services at 952-883-5000 or 800-883-2177 to find out for sure.
What do I wear for a flu shot?
A shirt or blouse that has short sleeves or is loose enough to roll up works best so that the shot can be given in your upper arm.
For more information about the flu, visit healthpartners.com/flu.