Healthy You - Every Day

Tips to Stay Healthy This Flu Season

Reduce your risk for getting the flu

prevent the flu

Ver en español.

Flu season has been largely overshadowed over the last few years by other respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. However, many medical experts believe this flu season could be more severe.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects flu activity in the United States to increase in the coming weeks,” says Terry Burger, Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) Administrator of Infection Control and Prevention. “Flu in the Northern Hemisphere is often caused by viruses similar to those that spread in the Southern Hemisphere during their winter flu season.”

Get your flu shot

Getting the flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. “There is plenty of evidence-based research that shows vaccination decreases hospital visits, hospitalizations, lost workdays and  lost time at school,” Burger says. “The flu shot is your best method for protecting yourself and your family.”

Everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year. Talk with your primary care doctor or clinician to understand if you have any reasons to not get a flu shot.

There are many myths surrounding the flu vaccine, including whether the vaccine can give you the flu. “It’s an inactivated vaccine. You absolutely cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” Burger says.

As we move into a time of year when flu becomes more widespread, make time to get your flu shot. “Flu shots save lives,” Burger says. “You will not only protect yourself but will help reduce the risk of spreading the flu to the people you love. The flu can be especially dangerous to the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, such as cancer.”

Get a flu shot with Lehigh Valley Health Network

Influenza (flu) Shots

The flu affects millions of people each year and can cause severe illness and even lead to death. The flu shot can prevent the flu and minimize illness.

Be careful what you touch

When it comes to avoiding the flu, frequent hand washing is important. Washing your hands frequently and correctly can help remove viruses and other microbes from your skin. Alcohol-based hand cleansers can be used when you can’t wash your hands with soap and water.

Remember to avoid touching your face after touching surfaces that others have touched like: doorknobs, cabinet handles, telephones, faucet handles, microwave or fridge handles, remote controls, shopping cart push handles, etc.

Also, clean surfaces to help remove viruses. The CDC says common cleaners, including soap, chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide, can kill the flu virus on surfaces.

Stop the spread

If you do end contract the flu, Burger says there are ways to avoid spreading the virus to others:

  • Stay home.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
  • Toss used tissues into the trash. (Reminder: If you happen to clean up someone else’s used tissue, wash your hands thoroughly.)

Signs and symptoms of the flu

It’s also important to recognize the symptoms of the flu so you can differentiate it from other common winter illnesses. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and include fever, body aches, chills, tiredness, cough and headache, and for some people sneezing, stuffy nose and sore throat. According to the CDC, cold symptoms are milder than flu symptoms. If you go to the doctor and are diagnosed with influenza, you may be treated with antiviral medication.

If your symptoms seem severe, you may need care at the ER, says Burger. “Go to the hospital if you have shortness of breath, prolonged illness that doesn’t seem to be getting better or chest pain,” she says.

“Flu shots save lives. You will not only protect yourself but will help reduce the risk of spreading the flu to the people you love.” - Terry Burger, RN, Administrator of Infection Control and Prevention, Lehigh Valley Health Network

Getting your flu shot has never been easier

  • Did you know that you can go to any of our convenient ExpressCARE locations to get your flu shot? They are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, and no appointment is necessary.​
  • LVHN is hosting a series of flu shot clinics throughout the region. Learn more at
  • You can also visit your primary care doctor or clinician to get your flu shot. If you don't have a primary care doctor or clinician, find one here or call 888-402-LVHN (5846).
  • If you find yourself taken ill with the flu, we know how difficult it can be to go to the doctor. If you don't feel up to leaving the house, schedule a Video Visit with an LVHN provider from the comfort of your own home.


When you can’t wait for an appointment, it's good to know you have a partner that offers convenient care. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers ExpressCARE walk-in care 365 days a year. Similar to an urgent care clinic, we offer high-quality medical care for common illnesses and minor injuries.

Explore More Articles