Flu season is upon us. The flu virus tends to spread from October to May, with most cases occurring in January and February. This highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs), is often confused with a common cold, but symptoms are more severe. A person will run a fever with the flu, and experience a headache, dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting. These symptoms will last for approximately 7 to 10 days.

There is never any guarantee the flu will pass you by during the season, but by taking precautions (as suggested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you can decrease the risk of contracting the flu or spreading it to others with the following:

1. If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw it away. Do not carry it around in your pocket or re-use.

2. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. If you find this too drying, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs are spread when we touch someone or something that is infected and then touch our own eyes, nose, or mouth.

4. Try to avoid contact with others who are sick.

5. If you do get sick, try to stay away from healthy people. The “rule of thumb” is to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. If you employer complains because you miss work, simply explain you’re doing everyone a favor by staying home!

6. Get a flu vaccine, especially if you have a chronic health condition and are at higher risk for the flu.

Strive to be healthy! Especially during the upcoming flu season…

Information shared courtesy of Medicine Net and Families Fighting Flu / Image courtesy of Flu Facts

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