Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It’s recommended for most individuals, ages six months and older.
Here are some other ways to avoid getting the flu and passing it to others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits (get adequate sleep, exercise, eat healthy, and drink plenty of fluids).
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- If you have the flu, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever has returned to normal without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Learn more about the flu, including symptoms, types of vaccines, and high-risk indviduals, and get answers to common questions about the flu vaccine, including locations where you can get it.
October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of the month, the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health developed the Pink Ribbon Sunday program to help educate women across the nation about breast cancer prevention and awareness.
Pink Ribbon Sunday aims to reduce breast cancer health disparities in communities by empowering leaders of local groups and organizations to develop mammography awareness programs that fit the needs of their community. Mammography screening is still the best tool to detect breast cancer early. Lack of screening can lead to later diagnosis, later entry into treatment and increased mortality.
Awareness activities include mobile mammography events, local health fairs or “Pink” luncheons to promote the cause.
The FDA’s Office of Women’s Health has put together information packets for individuals or organizations to distribute in their communities. The packets include a mammography information card, mammography fact sheet and an official Pink Ribbon Sunday flyer.
You can order single copies or if you’re hosting an event, you can order in bulk.
You can also learn more about breast cancer risk factors and possible treatment options.
More than 35,000 people took their own lives in the past year, and today we are losing more military soldiers to suicide than battle, according to Secretary of Army, John McHugh, who recently briefed America on the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, which helps raise awareness of the resources available to those who are feeling anxiety and depression that could lead to suicide.
National and local events are being held throughout the week including ribbon awareness day, a live Twitter chat on Friday and many other opportunities to get involved and help your loved ones. Learn more about the events and find one near you.
If you or someone you know is feeling anxious or depressed, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can chat with a counselor online.
Veterans and their families can call 1-800-273-8255 or go to Veterans Crisis Line for help preventing suicide.
Learn more about National Suicide Prevention Week and how to help.
If ovarian cancer is found early on, it can be treated more effectively. Learn to recognize the symptoms.
As of September 4, 2012, 87 deaths caused by West Nile Virus have been reported in the United States. There have been 1,993 cases of West Nile Virus in people, with 70 percent of those cases occurring in six states: Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Michigan.
Forty-eight states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is a potentially dangerous illness that is primarily spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. The mosquitoes themselves become infected when they feed on infected birds.
About one in 150 people infected with the virus will develop severe illness that could cause permanent neurological effects or death. About 20 percent of people can have symptoms for up to several weeks. Eighty percent of infected people show no symptoms at all. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms.
The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites.
- When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
- Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
- Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
Learn more about the West Nile Virus outbreak from the Centers for Disease Control.