Lower Your Odds On Getting The Flu

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Woman sick with the flu

Let’s talk about Influenza or it’s popular name- the Flu.

That dreaded three letter word that can wreak havoc on our respiratory systems and physically keep us down for a long while. It won’t be long before the cold and flu season is upon us… if it already hasn’t gotten you yet!

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are mild to severe strains of it, and at times can lead to death. Certain people, such as the elderly, usually 65 or older, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

The flu can spread  to others from roughly about  6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A person is less likely to the get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

Healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children can pass the virus for 7 days or longer. Symptoms can start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

Here are few things to try and fight the flu:

1. Take time to get a flu vaccine-The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
2. Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs. (Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand rub, cover you mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and then discard the tissue afterwards, if you have the flu limit contact with others, avoid close contact with others that are sick and try not to touch your eyes nose and mouth, germs do spread this way.)
3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral drugs are different than antibiotics, and should be used within the first two days of symptoms. They’re not available over the counter, you must have a prescription.

TIP:  As always consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns.

For a more detailed explanation on the influenza vaccine and other information please visit:  cdc.gov

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