If you have a chronic condition like heart disease, diabetes, or even obesity, you need to take extra care to protect yourself from all types of the flu, but especially the strain pH1N1. Most people call it swine flu. It sickened many people around the world in 2009. It’s the type of flu circulating most the winter of 2013-2014.
If you’ve had a flu shot this year, you’ve already taken an important step. The pH1N1 virus is in the 2013-2014 vaccine.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. That includes before, during, and after preparing food; before eating; before and after touching someone who’s sick; before and after treating a wound; after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or helping a child in the bathroom; and especially after you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze. Use hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands.
Don't touch your face unless you have washed your hands. Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes can spread the virus to your lungs and throat.
Avoid crowded places and people who are sneezing or coughing whenever possible.
Stay as healthy as you can: Eat healthy foods, drink a lot of liquids, and get plenty of sleep and exercise.
Call Your Doctor if You Have Symptoms
Call your doctor right away if you have flu-like symptoms like these -- even if you’ve had the flu shot:
Remind the doctor’s office about your chronic condition. Your doctor can do a test to see if you have the flu.