Cedars-Sinai Blog

Tips to Survive Peak Flu Season from a Cedars-Sinai Expert

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This year's flu season has been intense, with 46 states—including California—reporting widespread flu activity as of the January 8, 2018 version of the CDC's weekly flu report.

"Influenza is a serious illness that sometimes can result in death," says Dr. Jonathan Grein, Cedars-Sinai's director of hospital epidemiology. "It's not too late to get a flu shot. Everyone can play a part in keeping the community safe and healthy."

Dr. Grein says it's important to comply with public health recommendations specific to the 2017-18 flu season.

Annual flu recommendations

  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated, especially those at high risk of serious flu complications. This includes young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and those over 65.
  • Some young children might need two doses of the vaccine. Check with your physician.
  • Nasal spray currently is not recommended—only injections—because it was found to be less effective than expected in past seasons.

What You Need to Know About Cold and Flu Season

If you get the flu

If you do come down with the flu, Dr. Grein suggests:

  • Avoid spreading germs by covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • If you get sick, do your co-workers a favor and stay home from work until your symptoms start to fade—usually about 24 hours after your fever breaks.
  • You can spread the flu even before your symptoms begin—another reason it's important to get vaccinated and wash your hands frequently.

If you haven't been vaccinated yet, get it done as soon as you can. It takes about 2 weeks for the vaccination to build immunity. If you think you're coming down with the flu, make an appointment with your primary care physician or visit an urgent care near you.

Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care Locations

8501 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

10100 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Playa Vista, CA 90094