“Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection,” says Dr. Janette. “It usually enters the body through mucous membranes in the mouth, nose or eyes.”
You can also catch the virus by touching a contaminated surface like a door knob or telephone and then rubbing your eyes or nose.
It is also possible to breathe in the virus as well.
“It is important to know even healthy children and adults can become extremely ill from the flu and spread it to friends, family and co-workers,” Dr. Janette says.
Symptoms are usually easy to spot out.
“I had a really high fever,” says Deborah Stuart about the last time she had the flu. “I was feeling achy and had a lot of congestion.”
Symptoms of the flu can appear suddenly and can include fever, body aches, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue and sometimes a rash can occur.
There are also some myths associated with the flu.
“Let me put some myths to rest,” says Dr. Janette. “A flu shot cannot cause the flu. You may feel some side-effects from the flu shot, but the virus in the vaccine is inactive. They cannot cause an infection.”
To keep from getting the flu, avoid sick people, wash your hands often and avoid rubbing your eyes and nose.
It is also important to stay hydrated and get enough rest. Of course, get your flu shot.
Those afraid of needles, don’t worry. There is a nasal mist available.
“The flu can be unpredictable and life threatening, especially if you have an underlying medical condition like asthma or diabetes,” says Dr. Janette. “But, it’s preventable. I recommend you get your vaccination unless you have a severe allergy or illness and then be sure to speak to your health care provider.”
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