By San Jose Mercury News

1. Know the signs: Can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Sometimes there can be vomiting and diarrhea.

2. Always get your annual flu vaccine. It protects against three of the most common strains: H1N1 and Influenza A and B. It's strongly suggested for young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with pregnancy, asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease.

3. Take all possible preventive actions: Wash hands frequently. Avoid contact with sick people. If you have flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Keep sick kids home from school. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze - and throw the tissues away. Avoid spreading germs by not touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Drink plenty of fluids and get bed rest.

4. Faithfully take prescribed antiviral drugs: Within two days of getting sick is best, but taking them later is better than not taking them at all. They can make the flu milder and shorten the time you are sick.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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