The Flu: 4 Common Questions Answered

Just like the holidays, flu season comes once a year. And with it, ads for flu shots at your doctor’s office, pharmacy, and local clinic. You should know that this vaccine only protects against the influenza viruses that research has indicated will be most common during the upcoming season. So, it is possible you will get the flu even if you get vaccinated. 

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
    woman sick in bed

    Try ginger, lemon, honey tea for a sore throat.

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • 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?

cute baby

Children under 2 are most at risk for complications from the flu.

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?

Magnifier and bacteria

Wash hands regularly

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.

To save on flu shots or medications such as Flublok, Tamiflu, Fluzone, as well as other prescriptionssimply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link at the top of the page. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how our free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 


Updated: 11/22/18

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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