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Facts About the Flu

Did you know? We are still in the middle of flu season, which ranges each year from October all the way until May.  The flu is a respiratory illness that is caused by a virus.  The flu is easily spread around schools, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.  Here are some basic facts about the flu to share with those around you:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly eight percent of the United States population gets the flu each season.
  • The flu is a very contagious and you can spread it to other people starting a day before you have symptoms to up to a week after getting symptoms.
  • The flu can be spread through the air by coughs or sneezes, by touching contaminated objects, through skin-to-skin contact and through saliva.
  • Early symptoms of the flu can include body aches, fatigue or a scratchy throat.
  • Symptoms of the flu include a fever, body aches, stuffy nose, sore throat, loss of appetite, cough.
  • People at risk of the flu include children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people living in highly populated areas.
  • Complications can develop from the flu such as pneumonia and dehydration and it can worsen certain chronic medical conditions.
  • You can take care of yourself when you have the flu by getting lots of rest and drinking fluids. Stay home to avoid spreading it to other people.
  • Flu prevention can include getting a flu vaccine, washing hands frequently and staying away from people who are sick.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm

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