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Stay ahead of the cold & flu this season. Before you leave the house check in with our cold & flu tracker. Enter a zip code and keep an eye on cold and flu outbreaks in your area and around the country.

 

What's the difference between a Cold and the Flu? Between the Swine Flu and Bird Flu? Who's at greatest risk for the Flu? Protecting your family from the germs that cause colds and the flu is easier than you might think. We're glad you asked. Find all this and more.

Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Getting vaccinated is the best protection against contracting the flu.

Read more in the Flu Vaccine Primer.

About the H1N1 Vaccine

While seasonal flu and H1N1 can now be given as one shot to a healthy person, CDC recommends that at a minimum, the following groups get the H1N1 vaccine:

  • Pregnant women
  • Household caregivers for children under 6 months
  • Healthcare workers
  • Everyone aged 6 through 24
  • Anyone age 24 through 64 who has a medical condition that puts them at higher risk

Your healthcare provider can help you determine whether you and/or others in your family should get the H1N1 vaccine. If you are in an at-risk group for complications from seasonal flu, you are also at risk for complications from H1N1 and should get vaccinated.

Avian Flu/H5N1

Prevention Tips

You can't get Avian Flu from eating properly-handled poultry and eggs. Even if the food were contaminated, proper handing would kill it. The food safety methods that FDA and USDA recommend for poultry and eggs are:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
  • Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods, and disinfect frequently.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165° F.
  • Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.

Is there an Avian Flu/H5N1 Vaccine?

  • A vaccine for H5N1 vaccine is available, although it is not used in the United States because there have been no cases of H5N1 flu. If there were an H5N1 outbreak in the U.S., the vaccine would be distributed.
  • Learn more about Avian Flu/H5N1.