Flu prevention

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is 70 to 90 percent effective in preventing influenza.

We recommend all our patients and their families get vaccinated to prevent influenza. There are two types of flu vaccines available. Learn which flu vaccine is right for your child. Call Children’s West St. Paul Clinic to schedule your vaccine appointment: 651-726-9500.

There are four basic steps everyone can take to prevent the spread of influenza:

  • Get vaccinated!
  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Stay home from work, school or childcare when sick to limit the spread of the flu

How is influenza spread?
Influenza is most often spread from person to person when an ill person coughs and sneezes. Influenza virus can also be spread through hands contaminated with the virus when a healthy person touches their nose, mouth or eyes.

If you are exposed to someone with influenza, how long does it take for you to get symptoms?
The time from exposure to disease is called the incubation period. The incubation period for influenza is one to seven days.

How long can a person with influenza spread the virus?
People with influenza can spread the virus from one to two days before their symptoms begin to seven days after their symptoms start. Children, especially small children, and people with weakened immune systems can sometimes spread the virus 10 days after symptoms start. Even though people can spread influenza before and after developing symptoms, they spread the virus most often when they have a fever.