Staying Safe During Flu Season

05/19/2016

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and sometimes death. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, like congestive heart failure, asthma, and diabetes. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu shot each year.

How does the flu spread?

Flu spreads mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes people can become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

How can I avoid getting the flu?

The best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu shot every year. Good health habits like covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands can help prevent the flu. There are also flu antiviral drugs that can be used to prevent the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth to avoid spreading germs
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Be physically active
  • Manage your stress
  • Drink plenty of fluids

What should I do if I get the flu?

If you get the flu, stay home and rest. Drink plenty of liquids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco, and take medicine to relieve the symptoms of flu. Before giving aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms–especially fever–talk to your doctor.

Flu symptoms

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Drink plenty of fluids
    Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common in children than adults)