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Wash your hands with soap and clean running water. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.

Flu Information

CDC flu widgetFor information about the flu, flu vaccine, and other ways that you and your family can stay healthy this flu season, please Visit the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web sites or call the Massachusetts Department of Health's Immunization Program at 617-983-6800. Also, MASS 2-1-1 connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community, including local flu vaccination clinics.

The Department of Public Health has developed the brochure "Flu: What You Can Do - Caring for People at Home" as an informational resource to help residents care for themselves and their families without having to visit their health care provider. This brochure explains basic concepts such as:

  • What the difference is between a cold and the flu
  • How to keep from getting the flu
  • How to care for someone who has the flu
  • When a person should call the doctor, or seek immediate assistance through 911

Download a copy of "Flu: What You Can Do - Caring for People at Home"
In English

In Khmer
In Portuguese
In Spanish

Vaccine Information

Influenza viruses are always changing, so annual vaccination is recommended. Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause the flu that year.

Some Quick Flu Myths and Answers:

Myth: A flu shot can cause the flu
Fact: It can't

Myth: The flu shot made me sick
Fact: Rare, more often coincidence

Myth: I never get sick
Fact: Anyone can get the flu, no special immunity

Myth: I am healthy, I don't have to worry about influenza (the flu)
Fact: Anyone can have a rare complication and anyone can spread influenza (the flu) to someone who is high risk

Myth: Flu shots have many side effects
Fact: Adverse events occur less often than with common over-the-counter and prescribed drugs

Read more Flu Q&A with Dr. Sidebottom, Lowell General Hospital's Infectious Disease Specialist.

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