The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccination for all people older than 6 months of age. An H1N1 virus is one component of the seasonal flu shot for 2013-2014. The flu shot also protects against two or three other influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during the 2013-2014 flu season.

The vaccine will be available as an injection or a nasal spray. The nasal spray is approved for use in healthy people 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

These measures also help prevent swine flu (H1N1 flu) and limit its spread:

  • Stay home if you're sick. If you do have swine flu (H1N1 flu), you can give it to others starting about 24 hours before you develop symptoms and ending about seven days later.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water, or if they're unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Flu viruses can survive for two hours or longer on surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops.
  • Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow.
  • Avoid contact. Stay away from crowds if possible. And if you're at high risk of complications from the flu — for example, you're younger than 5 or you're 65 or older, you're pregnant, or you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma — consider avoiding swine barns at seasonal fairs and elsewhere.
  • Reduce exposure within your household. If a member of your household has swine flu, designate only one household member to be responsible for the ill person's personal care.
Apr. 05, 2014