You can help stop the spread of sickness! Influenza is a serious disease that can cause sickness, hospital stays, and even death. Symptoms of flu may be fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, extreme tiredness, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. People with the virus are likely to spread it from the day before symptoms first show until about five days after symptoms start. Sometimes people can spread the disease for as long as 10 days after symptoms show.
Flu season typically peaks between December and February. The flu is spread from person to person. Stay home when you are ill and stay away from others who are sick when possible. Wash hands often with soap and water. When you do not have soap and water nearby, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Clean commonly touched surfaces at home, work, or school. If you think you or a family member may be sick, stay home. Contact your healthcare provider, if needed.
To prevent the chances of getting the flu, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests getting the flu shot every year. It is best to get the flu shot early because it takes a full two weeks for the vaccine to start working. Our bodies need to have time to process the vaccine and prepare for fighting the virus. However, it’s never too late to get a flu shot.
Flu viruses are always changing, which is the reason healthcare providers encourage getting the flu shot every year. Most of the time a new flu season brings a different strain or kind of virus. If you have had the flu in the past, your body has already made antibodies to fight that certain strain of the virus. If future flu viruses are like those you have had before, either by having the disease or getting a flu shot, those antibodies may protect you from getting sick, or even lessen your symptoms if you do get sick.
For more information on this topic, go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/
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