The flu is spread when a person who has the virus sneezes or coughs into the air or onto a surface. When someone breathes in or touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth after touching an item contaminated with the virus, he or she may contract the flu.
The flu is the sixth leading cause of death among American adults. Each year, an average of 226,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from the flu.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
The flu typically will last seven to 10 days and leaves a person feeling very weak and tired. Flu symptoms develop quickly with a sudden onset of:
● extreme tiredness
● dry cough
● sore throat
● muscle aches
● runny of stuffy nose
Children may also develop stomach symptoms (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea).
Who is at risk for serious complications from the flu?
Anyone can get the flu, but some people are more likely to have flu-related complications, including: people age 65 and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, COPD or heart disease), women who are pregnant and young children.
How can I avoid the flu?
● Get a flu shot every year.
● Wash your hands often with hot, soapy water. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands.
● Cover a cough and sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your elbow. Do not cough or sneeze into your hands.
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.