Get ready for the flu!
What is the flu?
- Influenza is a contagious virus that infects the respiratory system, generally in the fall and winter.
- The influenza virus changes its make-up from year to year, which is why a new vaccine is made every year.
How do people get the flu?
- The flu is spread from person to person, mainly by droplets from the nose or mouth of people with the flu, when they sneeze, cough, or talk.
- A person with the flu can be contagious (meaning they can pass it on to someone else) from 1 day before they get sick with symptoms, until 5-7 days after they start to feel ill.
Cold or flu?
How serious is the flu?
- Influenza can range from a mild illness to a life-threatening one.
- One of the most serious complications of the flu is bacterial pneumonia, a lung infection.
What can I do to prevent the flu?
The most important thing you can do to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated!
- The injectable flu vaccine is made from killed influenza virus, so there is no risk of getting the flu from the vaccine.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommends that everyone 6 mos old or older get the flu vaccine every year.
What should I do if I think I might have the flu?
- We are happy to see you at SHS to see if you have the flu and give you recommendations for care.
- An evaluation for flu will include talking to you and examining you, and may or may not involve a rapid flu test. During times when the flu is common, it is not always necessary to have this test in order to be diagnosed with the flu.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, we recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, to help prevent spreading the flu to others.
- It is ok to leave home to come to SHS for medical evaluation and care, or for other necessities, but try to avoid close contact with others, or wear a mask over your nose and mouth. This helps prevent spreading the flu to others.
For more information, visit cdc.gov/flu, or flu.gov.