San Francisco, California (NAPSI) - There’s good news for those at risk of catching the flu. There are simple steps you can take to help to keep yourself and your family healthier.

Flu season has arrived and experts are reporting a more active assault than last year from the potentially deadly illness. The flu is responsible for approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths in theU.S.each year, yet only 46 percent of Americans get flu shots.

Dr. Alfred Damus, medical advisor for PrescribeWellness’ “A Million More” Flu Shot Initiative, recommends six important tips to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy this flu season:

• Get a flu shot. This simple and effective yearly practice dramatically decreases your chances of getting the flu.

• Cover mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. Teaching young children to cover their mouths and noses with their elbows instead of their hands can help prevent spreading cold or flu.

• Wash your hands frequently while traveling, carrying moist towelettes or hand sanitizer. The easiest way to catch the flu is by touching your eyes, nose or mouth after coming into contact with the virus.

• Disinfect your kitchen and bathroom sinks, trash cans, doorknobs and bathtub and shower faucets regularly. These are some of the germiest places in your house.

• Stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle and try to avoid caffeine when possible.

• Stay rested and avoid stress. Get at least eight hours of sleep each night and avoid stressful situations that can lower your immune system.

Working with pharmacies across the country, “A Million More” is a national population health initiative aimed at improving awareness and education in the areas of preventive health. Each quarter “A Million More” focuses on core personal practice areas such as immunizations, heart health, and other screenings to prevent the onset of disease.

For example, its campaign in the fall of 2012 helped pharmacists educate and motivate their patients to get a flu shot.

The initiative is also giving away a chance to win a million dollars, KHS Bicycles and other prizes to flu shot recipients who check in at participating pharmacies around the country.

For more information on the “A Million More” Flu Shot Initiative or to find a pharmacy near you, visit