If you haven't received your flu shot yet, now is the time to do so. Mayo Clinic experts say the best way to protect yourself from contracting the flu is to get the flu vaccine. But there are other precautions you can take to increase your odds of staying healthy during flu season.
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When it comes to the flu, the best way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot.
"You do have to get it every single year," says Dr. Vandana Bhide, a Mayo Clinic internal medicine specialist.
Dr. Bhide says flu shots are very effective, but ...
"... No vaccine is 100 percent," she says.
There's always a small chance you could still get sick. So, in addition to getting the vaccine, Dr. Bhide has three tips to help prevent the flu. No. 1 is hand-washing.
"Frequent hand-washing to prevent viral infections. And if you do have any kind of infection, whether it's influenza or some other upper respiratory infection, stay home," says Dr. Bhide.
Staying home so you don't infect others is No. 2. No. 3 is if you get sick, see your health care provider within 48 hours of symptoms starting.
"Because the faster that you can see the doctor, the faster you can be treated," says Dr. Bhide.
But the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine.