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Fight the Flu

January 14, 2014

Fight the Flu

What is influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

Individuals at higher risk include:
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have medical conditions including: asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, kidney and liver disorders and people with weakened immune systems.

Flu Prevention Strategies
  • Take time to get a flu vaccine.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, and limit contact with others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated

For more information about the flu, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’s website.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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