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Johns Hopkins Health - Much to Do About Flu

Fall 2009
Issue No. 6

Much to Do About Flu

Date: September 24, 2009

african american woman with orange juice

Over the past several months, we’ve all heard a lot about the H1N1 flu (incorrectly called swine flu). Until a vaccine is available, the best strategy to avoid the virus is to practice basic seasonal flu prevention tactics, says Johns Hopkins internal medicine physician Steven J. Kravet, M.D.

“That includes avoiding close contact with people who are sick with the flu,” he explains, “and washing your hands frequently.” The next best thing is to get a vaccination for seasonal flu, which is now available. Remember that the folks most susceptible to flu complications are the very young, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.

If you do get the flu, follow these tips to help avoid spreading it to others:

  1. Cover your cough (with your elbow, not your hand).
  2. Wash your hands frequently, and then wash them again.
  3. Stay home if you’re sick. Going to work or traveling greatly increases the chance of spreading the virus.

For updates on seasonal and H1N1 flu, visit or