What you should know about the flu virus

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are two main types or strains of this virus; types A and B. Influenza A and B viruses are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.

Anyone can get the flu, and flu disease can be serious. Flu affects people of all ages and can cause severe illness resulting in hospitalization and death. Protect yourself and your family by getting a flu shot as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

  • Fever (usually high; ≥101°F)
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Muscle aches/body aches
  • Weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur but are more common in children than adults.

Influenza causes mild to severe illness and can be fatal.

How does the flu spread?

The flu spreads easily from person to person by coughing and sneezing. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick. Children and immune-compromised people may pass the virus for longer than ten days. That means that a person may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before they feel ill, as well as during their illness. Some people can be infected with flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, they can still spread influenza to others when they sneeze or cough

How can you reduce your risk of catching the flu?

  • Get your flu shot
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Stay active and eat a healthy diet
  • Keep surfaces in your home and workspace clean

before your visit

bring a list of your medications
bring your photo ID
bring insurance cards
bring copay
complete required paperwork
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