What to Do About the Flu

Flu activity is widespread across the nation, and currently at a high level in Maryland. Johns Hopkins experts weigh in with tips for effective infection prevention and simple steps to stop the spread of germs that can cause the flu.

What You Need to Know

• The flu is an easily spread respiratory tract infection caused by a virus.

• Most people who get the flu are sick for only a few days. Those who are more susceptible, such as young children, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems, may develop a much more serious illness.

• Flu viruses continually change. Vaccines given each year are developed to fight the strain predicted to cause illness that year.

Flu season most commonly peaks

in the United States in January or


How Can I Prevent the Flu?

• Get a flu vaccination. The flu shot is one of the best—and easiest—ways to keep you and your family healthy. Employees who are not covered by the mandatory flu vaccination policy can still get a flu shot at the Occupational Health Services Office at 98 N. Broadway, Suite 421. Walkins are welcome between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday–Friday, but appointments are preferred. Please call 410-955-6211.

• Limit contact with infected people or use plenty of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Wash your hands frequently, and clean faucets and other shared surfaces with standard household cleansers. Use paper towels instead of hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen.

• Avoiding touching your mouth, eyes and nose.

• Encourage respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Cover your cough and remind others to do the same.

• Stay home if you have a fever, and encourage your colleagues to stay home if they are ill.

If You Are a Direct Health Care

Worker, You Should Also:

• Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms.

• Isolate patients who are symptomatic.

• Screen visitors and remind them not to visit if they are ill.

Please contact the infection prevention department for more information, or the Johns Hopkins Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control at 410-955-8384 if you have general questions.