It is that time of year again when the flu virus will soon be running rampant. As the weather begins to change, families are spending more time inside where germs can spread easily. Influenza, or the “flu,” is a respiratory virus that infects the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs. Typical symptoms include: fever, chills, muscle aches, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough and difficulty breathing. Although some people with the flu have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, these are not common symptoms. The flu usually occurs between October and April of each year and is very contagious spreading from person to person by coughing, sneezing or talking. Many viruses cause similar symptoms but flu tends to be more severe and prolonged. Because influenza is a virus, it can not be successfully treated with antibiotics. Therefore it is important to try to prevent the flu. A yearly flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, in addition here are a few simple steps everyone should take to protect yourself and your family from getting sick:
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Stay home if you are sick
For more information about flu, flu vaccine, and other ways you and your family can stay healthy this flu season please visit www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
Let’s spread good tidings and cheer this holiday season, not the flu. Don’t let anyone in your family suffer from this serious and preventable infection – get vaccinated by calling our office at (724) 741-0044 or stop by the office during normal business hours.