What is Influenza?
- Commonly known as flu
- A highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes and talks. A person may also get flu by touching objects and surfaces contaminated with the flu virus and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
Symptoms of flu
- Often starts with chills followed by fever
- Muscle or body aches
- Non-productive cough
- Sore throat
Most people recover within one to two weeks without medical treatment. Supportive treatment only such as the following is needed:
- Take medication for fever
- Decongestants as necessary
- Adequate rest
- Drink plenty of fluids
Consult a doctor if symptoms worsen or persist.
Anti-viral drugs can decrease duration of fever and severity of symptoms. This is typically recommended for high-risk patients who are most likely to develop serious flu-related complications.
Take the following steps to protect oneself and others:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay at home when sick to prevent spread of illness to others.
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water or if not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean frequently objects and surfaces such as door knobs, keyboards and phones to help remove germs.
- Practice other good health habits – get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, eat nutritious food and drink plenty of fluids.
The single best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each year.
- https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm#flu-shot ; https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm ;