Flu Season is Upon Us
The 2017- 2018 flu season is in full swing with increased activity in our area at this time. The flu can stick around through May, so it is not too late to get a flu shot. Remember that you cannot get the flu from the flu shot and the flu shot takes 2 weeks to be fully effective. Please read reasons to get a flu vaccine by the Center for Disease Control here. This document also lists conditions that increase the risk of complications from the flu, since people with immune deficiencies, chronic conditions, the elderly, and young children can be at a greater risk of complications from the flu which may be severe.
The flu virus is contagious for 24 hours before symptoms appear to 7 days (or more for children) after symptoms begin. Most of the time it is spread by droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes, but it can also be spread when the droplets land on a surface and a person touches that surface and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Once the virus enters a person’s body, it incubates for 1 to 3 days before symptoms appear.
There is sometimes confusion about what is flu and what is a cold. Generally, flu causes fever, body aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, chest discomfort and cough. Sometimes there are other symptoms as well. Please click here for more about when to suspect the flu.
If you think you have the flu, stay home from school or work, drink fluids, rest, and call your doctor. There are antiviral medications that can be prescribed that will help you get better faster if taken early. Please see www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/flu/selfcare.pdf for more information about how to care for yourself and family members with the flu, and dangerous signs to look for.
To prevent the spread of flu, get a flu shot, wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, keep away from people coughing or sneezing, sanitize frequently touched surfaces regularly, keep your body healthy by eating healthy and drinking water, cover your cough, stay home when you are sick.