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|Flu 101: The Basics - 8/20/2012|
By Teresa Thacker, RN
Flu or Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by one of the Influenza viruses. This virus infects your nose, throat and lungs and can cause a mild case of the flu or a serious sometimes life threatening infection.
How Is It Spread?
Flu is spread through droplets when the infected person sneezes, coughs or even speaks. It also can be spread from surfaces where the droplets land and then are picked up by people touching the surface and then touching their nose, eyes or mouth.
You can spread the flu even before you have any symptoms. Most people are contagious and able to spread the flu virus a day or two before they actually become sick and then can continue to spread the virus up to 7 days after they develop symptoms.
People who are very young, very old or have a weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to becoming infected.
Signs & Symptoms
A person may have some or all of the following symptoms when infected with flu:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Feeling very tired
- Vomiting and diarrhea (mainly in children)
How Serious Is Flu?
The flu results in 39,000 to 40,000 deaths per year every year. However, there is a way to limit the seriousness of flu. Get the flu vaccine every year.
Attend Program on Flu
Want to know more about the upcoming flu season? Join Teresa Thacker as she explains what the CDC expects, when you should get a flu shot and how long the vaccine will protect you from the flu at 10 am, Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Glen Oaks Health Campus.
Of course winter is the time for flu here, but the exact timing and duration varies. Flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, but most of the time flu activity peaks in January and February. However, some seasons have been as late as March.
Along with information on flu guests are treated to brunch by the Glen Oaks staff. For information call 521.1580.