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|Seasonal Influenza (the Flu)|
Don't Get It, Don't Spread It!
About the Flu
Having the flu is no fun ... not for the person who is sick, but also not for their family, co-workers, neighbors, and anyone else around. Having the flu is not the same as having a bad cold. It can bring bad headaches, body aches, fatigue, and fever. It can be dangerous and even deadly in rare cases. Some simple steps will help you stay healthy and prevent the flu and other illnesses including the common cold.
How Flu is Spread
The flu is spread from person to person through coughs and sneezes. Sometimes people get the flu by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. This can happen at home, work, church or school -- anywhere that we share close space or touch the same things, like chairs and tables, doors, and shopping carts.
If You Become Ill
- Stay home. Avoid contact with others. Wait 24 hours after your fever has gone away before going out.
- Get lots of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, or with your upper sleeve or the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid smoking and drinking.
- Wash your hands often.
When to See a Doctor
The flu should clear up on its own.
Call a doctor if you:
- Have a fever above 102 degrees for more than 1-2 days.
- Have symptomes that last longer than 10 days.
- Have a fever and also develop a rash.
- Get worse instead of better.
- Get better and then get sick again.
Get immediate medical attention for trouble breathing, dizziness, confusion, chest pain, repeated vomiting or other severe symptoms.
Call a doctor if a child under 2, adult over 65, pregnant woman, or person with a chronic medical condition (including diabetes, asthma or heart disease) gets the flu.
About the Flu Vaccine
Each year there are new flu viruses -- and a new flu vaccine to fight them. This is one of the best ways to prevent flu. A yearly flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone over 6 months old, especially adults over 65 and people with chronic conditions including diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The flu can be more dangerous for them. Click HERE for more information on the flu vaccine.
Why Get a Flu Vaccine?
The flu vaccine can protect you from getting very sick. Getting a flu vaccine is easier than getting sick and missing school or work. You don't even have to go to the doctor's office -- low cost flu vaccines are available at most pharmacies.
5 Keys to Staying Well
1. Wash Your Hands Often.
Especially before you eat, and always after you sneeze, cough, or use the restroom. To get rid of germs, use soap and water, and rub hands together for at least 20 seconds.
2. Get the Flu Vaccine Every Year.
A new flu vaccine is available every fall. The vaccine changes yearly, to keep new viruses away. Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways for you and your family to avoid the flu.
3. Eat Well, Sleep Well, and Exercise.
4. Avoid Contact.
Healthy habits help keep you well and help prevent flu.
Don't share things like forks, spoons, glasses, pens and phones when you are sick. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. Stay away from people who are sick, and if you're sick, stay away from other people!
5. Keep Things Clean!
Wipe down commonly used surfaces (like counters, tables, doorknobs, toys, phones, and computer keyboards) with a household cleanser.
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