The Flu: 4 Common Questions Answered
In the U.S. the flu epidemic generally doesn’t peak until about February each year. So, whether you choose to get a flu shot or not, you should still learn about the virus. Here’s what you should know…
1. What Are the Symptoms?Unlike a cold, the flu can come on suddenly and aggressively. Its symptoms are similar to the common cold, but can include fever*, headache and muscle soreness. If you experience any of the following, you may want to consider a visit to your doctor.
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- You may have vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
2. How Long Does the Flu Last?
It typically lasts one to two weeks, with severe symptoms subsiding in two to three days. However, weakness, fatigue, and a dry cough can linger for three to seven days.
3. Who is at risk?
You are at risk, because anyone can get the flu. However, some people are at a higher risk for complications, including:
- Young children
- Adults 65 years or older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)
- Pregnant women
4. How Does the Flu Spread?
You’re exposed when an infected person coughs, because the germs travel through the air and you can breath them in. Shaking hands that are contaminated with the influenza virus also puts you at risk. If you have the flu, you can help prevent spreading it by covering your mouth and nose when coughing and washing your hands regularly.
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Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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