Prevent the Flu

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Seasonal Flu 

  • Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses
  • Flu season typically peaks in January or February 
  • Flu vaccine is the BEST way to protect yourself
  • Flu symptoms usually last one to two weeks

Flu Prevention 

Ways to help prevent the Flu include:

  • Get the flu shot
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners, especially after you cough or sneeze
  • Make sure you cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw the tissue away
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because germs can spread that way

Who's at Risk

Anyone is at risk of contracting influenza, but children, seniors, and individuals with chronic health conditions are at highest risk for severe influenza complications.

Flu Symptoms 

  • 100ºF or higher fever or feeling feverish
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea

 

Have flu symptoms?

Don't visit loved ones in the hospital.

Typically, we encourage visitors, but it's best to stay home if you have flu symptoms so you don't risk spreading it to people in the hospital.

What to Do When You’re Sick

If you get sick with influenza (the flu), limit contact with others.  This means staying home from work or school to avoid infecting others. Take care of yourself or others by:

  • Stay at home and rest
  • Limit contact with others
  • Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids
  • Treat fever and cough with over-the-counter medicines

 

When to Seek Emergency Care

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but return with fever and cough

 

If you get sick with influenza, limit contact with others.  This means staying home from work or school to avoid infecting others.

Sources:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - www.flu.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/

 

 

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True / False: 

The common cold is like the flu

False: In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense.  Colds are usually milder than the flu.

People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.  

You can vaccinate against the flu virus.

True / False: 

The flu virus can only be contracted in cold, winter months

False: Flu virus typically circulates all year long October-May. The best time to get vaccinated is when the flu vaccine becomes available (usually September or October), but vaccination can be given throughout influenza season. 

It takes about two weeks to develop immunity, once given the vaccine. The flu virus usually peaks in February but has occurred as late as May.

True / False: 

The flu shot can give you the flu virus

False: Flu vaccine cannot cause the flu virus.  The viruses within the vaccine are weakened / diluted in the flu shot or nasal spray vaccine.

True / False:

The stomach flu is the same as influenza

False: “Stomach” flu occurs in your intestines whereas (influenza) affects your lungs (respiratory).

True / False:

You can spread the flu to others before you have symptoms

True:  Flu symptoms can take up to 1-3 days to develop. You can spread the virus, before feeling sick.
 

A yearly flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu!

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