HHS and Flu.gov answer questions about the flu

Healthcare professionals are seeing as much flu activity today as they normally see at the height of flu season and, with both Seasonal and H1N1 flu circulating the country, many are wondering what they should do about the flu.  With new tools and updated content on Flu.gov, the American public can continue to turn to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for information on all things flu.

"Flu.gov is a one-stop clearinghouse for the latest news about the flu," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a recent press release.  "These new resources on Flu.gov will help individuals get critical information on how to protect themselves and their families from the H1N1 virus. They will also help us to get accurate information out into the public realm so people know what the facts are about the flu."

Along with federal guidelines, posters, toolkits, widgets, and e-cards, featured content on Flu.gov includes:

H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation

During flu season this year, you might have to wait a long time in a crowded waiting room before you can see a doctor just to see if you might have the flu.  Some people who actually have the flu may need to be seen right away.  And other people can take care of themselves at home just fine.   This self-evaluation, available in both English and Spanish, gives you information about flu symptoms so that you can decide what to do.

Created for educational purposes only and not meant to be a substitute for a doctor’s advice, answering the questions in the online self-evaluation gives individuals 18 and older information on:

  • What you can do to take care of yourself,
  • What you can do to prevent the flu in other members of your families, and
  • What the warning signs of more serious flu symptoms are—symptoms that need the attention of a medical professional.

Flu Myths and Facts

With the appearance of a new flu strain and an accompanying vaccine, many people have questions about H1N1 and Seasonal flu.  The myths and facts section on Flu.gov debunks some of the myths about the H1N1 virus and vaccine, and provides accurate information on vaccinations, the flu, and public health. And if you don’t see the information you are looking for, you can submit a question directly to public health experts.

Ask the Expert

Flu.gov offers information on a variety of different topics but for those who have a specific question about flu, you can send a question to public health experts.  A sample of the submitted questions and answers are posted on flu.gov.  Recent questions include:

  • Is the nasal spray seasonal flu vaccine as effective as the shot?
  • How long (one season or more) will immunity be effective from the H1N1 vaccine? Will this be an annual vaccine like the seasonal flu?
  • At work, they are putting together a team to develop Policies & Procedures. Do you have any suggestions?

Read the answers to these questions or ask your own and for more information about flu, visit Flu.gov.

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