The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes the flu as a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms and at times can lead to death.
Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue. Symptoms can also include vomiting and diarrhea.
How does the flu spread?
The flu spreads primarily from mucus or saliva droplets during coughing, sneezing or talking. Droplets can travel up to 6 feet, person to person, landing in the mouth and nose, or are inhaled into the lungs of the uninfected person. People can also get the flu when they touch contaminated surfaces and objects, like telephones or countertops that have the flu virus on them, and then touch their own mouths or noses.
Flu symptoms can start within one to four days after being infected and last upwards of one week. The flu can be spread for up to seven days or longer by children. Surprisingly, some infected individuals show no symptoms at all. The CDC stresses that this means you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before, or without knowing you are sick.
How can I protect myself and others?
The CDC wants everyone to know that best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Everyone six months or age and older should get the flu vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control stresses that the best way to avoid contracting the influenza is to get a flu shot.
The following are six simple steps for flu prevention:
- Wash hands with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water are not available.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
Author Gregg Cognac, PA-C, Clinical Affairs Director, Medcor is a certified Physician Assistant, and works with Medcor’s medical directors to provide oversight and support for on-site clinic staff in more than 170 locations nationwide. Gregg earned his degree in PA studies from Midwest University in 1999, then completed post-graduate training in Emergency Medicine culminating in a Master’s degree. Gregg’s clinical experienced has been in Emergency Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Cardiology. Gregg contributes to policy and service development, QA, training, and other clinical support for clinic staff operating in a wide range of industries. http://medcor.com. Contact: email@example.com