All about the Flu – Protect Yourself and Your Family

Influenza (flu) including seasonal, avian, swine, pandemic

All about the Flu – Protect Yourself and Your Family

Many types of influenza, commonly called “flu” exist in humans. Some types can make you very sick, while other types are milder. Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a variety of viruses. Symptoms of flu include coughing, sneezing, muscle aches and soreness, headache, and fever.

Flu viruses enter the body through the mucus membranes of your nose, eyes, or mouth. Every time you touch your hand to one of these areas, you are possibly infecting yourself with a virus. This makes it very important to keep your hands germ-free with frequent and thorough hand washing. Encourage family members to do the same to stay well and prevent flu.

While anyone can get the flu, some people are more likely to develop serious complications, resulting in hospitalization or death. The CDC recommends that extra precautions are taken for:

There are three types of flu viruses: A, B, and C. Type A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics that have up to 20% of the population sniffling, aching, coughing, and running high fevers. Type C also causes flu; however, type C flu symptoms are much less severe. The flu is linked to between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States. The seasonal flu vaccine was created to try to avert these epidemics.

According to the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, seasonal influenza viruses are detected year-round in the United States, but flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February (but shows up as late as May each year).

The “peak month of flu activity” is the month with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza virus infection during that influenza season. During the most recent 36-year period, flu activity most often peaked in February (15 seasons), followed by December (7 seasons), January (6 seasons) and March (6 seasons).

Your best defense against the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine. Call your doctor today to make sure you are protected.

If you are in pain or have questions, please give us a call at 469-437-4873 or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.

 

Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplas
Author
Kairos

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