Reports in the news media of airline passengers with influenza are a reminder that the influenza season in the United States is fast approaching, and people who are sick should protect themselves—and others—by not traveling.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine, preferably by the end of October. Most people with the flu have mild illness and don’t need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms – fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuff nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting – stay home, don’t travel, and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
However, if you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group (such as children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, residents of nursing home or long-term care facilities, American Indians and Alaska Native, and people who have certain medical conditions), or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your healthcare provider.
When you talk to your healthcare provider about upcoming travel, ask about routine vaccines that are right for you. In addition to getting any recommended travel vaccines, make sure you and your family are up to date on all routine vaccines, such as MMR vaccine, before you travel.
For more information on seasonal influenza, visit www.cdc.gov/flu