The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. According to the CDC, the flu virus causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself! The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot each year.
Signs and symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue. The flu may cause worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions for some people. If you are experiencing flu like symptoms call your family doctor and stay at home, away from other people to prevent further spread of the illness. Infected individuals may be able to infect others one day before and up to seven or more days after becoming sick.
Peak season for the flu is September through May. It takes your body about two weeks after receiving the shot to receive protection against the flu, so it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination is your best protection against contracting this respiratory disease and losing work and family time due to its effects. Be a Flu Fighter and protect yourself from influenza!
Common Flu Questions
Q: Can the flu shot give me the flu?
A: No. The flu shot cannot give you the flu. The intramuscular vaccine is made with (a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or (b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all.
Q: Do I really need a flu vaccine every year?
A: Yes. The reason for this is that a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the “optimal” or best protection against the flu.
Effective Hand-Washing for Flu Season
- Wet your hands with warm, running water, and apply liquid soap or use clean bar soap. Scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
- Rub your hands vigorously together for at least 15 to 20 seconds or sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Rinse your hands well and then dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel.
- Use a towel to turn off the faucet and open a public restroom door. Please dispose of the trash properly.