Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Everyone’s talking about it … What is Influenza? (also called the flu)

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. This illness can be mild or can cause a severe illness or even death. Symptoms of the flu are:
• Fever or feeling feverish or have chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue (very tired)
• Rarely in adults –vomiting and diarrhea (more often in children)

Influenza is spread by an ill person breathing or coughing into the air. The virus is on a droplet that flows on the air and another person can breathe in that droplet. Another way it is spread is by toughing a surface that has the droplet on it and then by touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

Most people will get ill 48-72 hours after they have been in contact with the flu. If you are coming down with it you may be able to pass the virus on to others one day before you feel ill as well as up to 5-7 days after you get sick.
Some people, especially young children or people with weak immune systems, may be able to infect others for even longer times.
Complications of the flu can include pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, worsening of chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

In the flu season 2014-2015, close to 5000 people in Maine had positive lab tests for the flu and there were many others who did not get tested.

As you can see, the flu is a nasty disease! Protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season.

Here is a great piece on antibiotics and the flu. Thank you Consumer Reports Health

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