If you’ve noticed more people at work or school getting sick, you’re not alone. Flu season is picking up in the islands.
According to the state Department of Health, visits to the doctor tend to spike at around the end of January and last until the beginning of March.
The good news is that most of these cases don’t actually turn out to be the flu.
Even better news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity across the country is not as prevalent as it was the same time last year.
But we all still need to be careful when it comes to protecting ourselves.
“Even in a good year — good in quotation marks — flu will result in this country in millions of cases of illness, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths,” said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Number one, get the flu vaccine.
The predominant strain of the virus that got so many people sick last season, H3N2, is included in the new shots.
But the vaccine isn’t always 100-percent effective, so it’s important that you wash your hands often, and don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
If you do get sick, stay home from work or school. You can still go to the doctor, but try to stay away from others to keep germs from spreading.