How to recognize the flu, avoid getting it, and spreading it.
What is the flu (influenza)?
Influenza, also called the flu, is a serious and contagious respiratory illness that's caused by the influenza virus.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, sometimes leading to pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, and even death.
Who is at risk?
Every year in the United States, on average, 8% of the population get sick with the flu.
Some groups are at higher risk than others, including the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions.
Help keep the flu from spreading!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to help prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.
The following tips can also help prevent the flu from spreading:
CLEAN & DISINFECT SURFACES
You can’t see the flu virus, so use a safe bleach or disinfectant to kill additional germs on surfaces and toys.
For more than just weepy movies. Cough and sneeze into them to avoid spreading germs.
SHARING ISN’T ALWAYS GOOD
You never know who is sick, so just in case, don’t let your kids share items like pacifiers, cups, spoons, forks, towels, or toothbrushes.
GOT THE FLU? GET IN BED
Adults are contagious for up to 7 days, and kids can be contagious for even longer. Because you are more likely to spread the flu when you have a fever, the CDC recommend you stay home and away from other people for as long as you have a fever and for 24 hours after your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications.
WASH WITH SOAP & HOT WATER
It’s the oldest trick in the book because it works. Use anti-bacterial soaps and carry a hand sanitizer for times when you can’t use a sink.
AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE, OR MOUTH
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.