Understanding the Influenza (the Flu)
- Influenza (the common name- flu) is a virus that attacks your respiratory system
- The average person is off work 7-30 days when infected with the flu virus
- The flu is highly contagious and it is spread by droplet (cough).
- Once exposed, you can shed the virus 5-7 days before becoming sick. During this time, you can infect other people.
- You can also be a carrier of the virus, not be sick yourself, but pass it along to others.
- 9,000-20,000 death per year are caused from influenza
- The people at highest risk for developing flu-related complications and dying from influenza include:
- Children younger than 5 years old, especially those under age 2.
- Pregnant women.
- Adults age 65 years and over.
- People with chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, people who have diseases of the lungs, liver, or kidneys.
- Health Care workers
Many of our friends and family members fit into one of these categories. When we are vaccinated, we protect the people around us by decreasing the risk of infecting them with influenza.
Symptoms of the Flu
- Sudden onset of fever
- Body aches
- Hacky dry cough
- Runny nose
- Sinus pressure
- Nausea/Vomiting may occur with the Flu but it’s rare. Children are more likely to have nausea/vomiting with the influenza virus.
- *If you have these symptoms call your doctor, there are medications that can help but need to be given when the sickness starts.
Influenza vaccines are covered by most insurance and you can come to our ER anytime for the vaccine. The vaccine is also available in any of our primary care clinics and our After Hours Clinic.