Yes, it's that time of year again; festivities, food, fun, family, friends, and...flu.
Influenza (a.k.a. flu) is a contagious respiratory infection that's spread through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. An infected person can spread the infection 1 day before experiencing symptoms and up to 7 days after symptom onset.
Symptoms of influenza include:
- Diarrhea (rare)
- Muscle aches
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Vomiting (rare).
Don't pass it on
If you experience symptoms of influenza, take measure to prevent the spread of infection.
- Limit contact with others and remain at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw the tissue in the trash immediately after use.
Cover your cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Don't touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that may be contaminated with the virus.
A shot of protection
The best protection against influenza is the vaccine. Vaccine effectiveness varies; however, if you do become ill, the vaccine may make your illness less severe. Reducing severity, reduces the risk for serious complication that may lead to hospitalization and even death.