By Patsy Watkins MPS, CFCSFamily & Consumer Sciences Agent, UT/TSU Extension, Williamson County
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
All types of flu have similar symptoms that include:
•A 100°F or higherfever
•Coughing or sorethroat
•A runny or stuffynose
•Headaches and/orbody aches
•Nausea, vomiting,and/or diarrhea
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and a test can determine whether you have the cold or flu.
Everyday steps that can help stop the spread of germs are washing hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub; avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; get plenty of sleep and exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy foods; and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Getting Vaccinated each season is the single best way to prevent the flu. The people who should get vaccinated are people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people who are 65 years or older, and everyone 6 months of age or older should get the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as the flu season vaccine becomes available because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.