Influenza is an upper illness caused by influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times lead to death. The best way to prevent influenza is to get a flu shot every year.
Signs and symptoms
Individuals with flu may present with the following symptoms: cough, fever and/ or chills, sore throat, runny nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, fatigue, and in some cases even vomiting and diarrhea.
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How does it spread?
Flu is spread mainly by respiratory droplets, made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can also be found on the surface of the objects that the person with the flu has touched.
Anyone can pass the flu to someone else before they become sick .Most healthy adults may be able to infect others starting a day before the symptoms starts, and up to 5 to 7 days after they become sick.
Complications of Flu
Flu may start as a simple upper respiratory infection, but can cause serious complications that will include bacterial pneumonia, sinus infection , dehydration ,worsening of chronic conditions, such as, heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
People with asthma ,diabetes ,heart disease, stroke, adults over 65 years of age, pregnant woman, people with HIV or AIDS, cancer, and children younger than five, are at high risk for getting the complications of the influenza.
Prevention of the flu
There are good habits that you can follow that can protect you against flu virus:
- Avoid close contact with the people who are sick.
- If your child or you get sick, stay home and avoid work and school that way you won\’t be spending the virus to others.
- When you’re coughing or sneezing try to cover your face with the tissue.
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- While at work try to routinely clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, keyboards or phones. This will help prevent the spread of germs. Make sure there’s an adequate supply of soap, tissues, paper towels and/or alcohol-based hand rubs. Also inquire with your employer whether the flu vaccinations offered on-site
Should I Get a Flu Shot?
So far, The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every season.
When to get vaccinated
The best time for getting a flu shot should be early in the season ideally in October. Getting vaccinated after that can be protective also as long as the flu viruses are circulating.
Everyone six months of age and older should get flu shot every season.
To minimize absenteeism, employers should consider hosting a flu vaccination clinic in the workplace. Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches does provide such services per request of employers. Please contact us via email at (firstname.lastname@example.org), call us at 561-429-6109 and ask to talk to our medical director, or go to our website for more information. We provide on-site education and vaccination for our local employers no matter how large or small the employers may be!
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