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About half of US adults incorrectly believe that antibiotics or flu vaccines will treat the flu, according to a new survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). The good news is that two-thirds of those surveyed know that people should be vaccinated against the flu each year.
"It is reassuring that individuals recognize the importance of receiving an annual vaccination but that's not enough," says Dr. Susan J. Rehm, NFID medical director. "To help keep influenza out of homes, schools, and workplaces, everyone six months and older should get vaccinated and contact their doctor when experiencing flu symptoms. Remember Flu F.A.C.T.S.: Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden onset, to help determine if your symptoms are flu related."
According to the CDC, the most important step in protecting against the flu is getting an annual flu vaccine. Also, when viruses are circulating, everyday preventative actions (like washing your hands and covering your cough) can stop the spread of viruses. Once you are infected with the flu virus, vaccination and hand washing will not stop the virus from replicating. Antibiotics won't help either, as they fight against bacterial infections. If you get the flu, a doctor can prescribe medicines to help treat the flu.
Flu spreads quickly and easily from one person to the next. Anyone can become sick and experience serious complications. Watch "Freddie the Flu Detective" identify flu symptoms in a new public service announcement from NFID.
Protect yourself this flu season, get vaccinated. To help your children learn flu-fighting habits, download a free "Freddie the Flu Fighter" coloring book at FluFACTS.com or nfid.org.
The Flu Behaviors and Treatments survey is supported by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.