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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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How to Prevent the Flu

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Take Your Medicine

All these steps should keep you pretty well armed against the flu. Still, even the best defense isn't perfect.

In case you do get sick, ask your doctor about antiviral flu drugs like oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), and zanamivir (Relenza). They can help you get better faster. But you need to take them within the first 2 days of getting sick.

If you do come down with the flu this season, look out for others. You can spread it for up to a week after you get sick. Don't share germs with your friends, family, and co-workers.

  • Stay home until you feel better and your fever has been gone (without the help of medicine) for at least 24 hours.
  • Sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. That way you can’t pass it around.
  • Toss used tissues after you blow your nose. Don't leave them lying around for someone else to find.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on July 16, 2015
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