What is the flu?
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as the elderly, young children, and those with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
How can it be prevented?
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. If you haven’t yet received a flu shot, it’s not too late. Contact your physician to make an appointment today.
How does the flu spread?
Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through coughing, sneezing or talking closely to someone who has the flu. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose. Many other viruses spread these ways, too.
Help prevent the spread!
There are actions that you can take every day to help prevent the spread of germs, including the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. This will block the spread of droplets from your mouth or nose that could contain germs.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you or your child gets sick with a respiratory illness like flu, limit contact with others as much as possible to help prevent spreading illness. If you have a fever, limit contact with others for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to seek medical care or for other necessities. Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, keyboards, and phones, to help remove germs.
Use your best judgment about reporting to work when you are ill. Consider your own health as well as those around you.
For additional information on influenza, its symptoms and treatment, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention