Home >> HealthCenter >> Condition
Advertisement
Click here

Please enter your email:

Flu -- Get the Shot

Each winter, millions of people suffer from the flu. Flu—the short name for influenza—is caused by viruses. Viruses are very small germs. Some viruses can spread easily from one person to another. They cause illnesses or infections like the flu.

For some people, flu is a mild illness. For older people, especially those who have health problems like diabetes or heart disease, the flu can be very serious.

How Serious Is Flu?

Most people who get the flu feel much better in a week or two. But, some people can get very sick. For example, because your body is busy fighting off the flu, you might pick up a second infection. Older people are at great risk of these secondary infections, such as pneumonia.

How Does Flu Spread?

It was mid-November, and Ellen had not gotten a flu shot. One day she was out having lunch with a friend and noticed people sneezing and coughing at the next table. Two days later, Ellen woke up feeling achy and had a fever. She had the flu. Her husband Jack took care of her and was careful to wash his hands after touching Ellen’s dishes. But, a few days later he too was sick. Maybe he used the phone just after Ellen finished talking with their son. Or, maybe he touched a doorknob Ellen used after sneezing. Flu spreads easily from one person to another.

The flu is contagious—that means it spreads from person to person, often through the air. You can pass on the infection before you feel sick. You are contagious for several days after you get sick. You can catch the flu when someone near you coughs or sneezes. Or, if you touch something the virus is on, like Ellen and Jack’s phone or doorknob, and then touch your nose or mouth, you could catch the flu. The flu virus can live on a surface like a book or doorknob for a number of hours. Remember to wash your hands often when you are around someone who is sick. Make a point of washing them before eating and touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you can, stay away from sick people. That will help stop the flu from spreading.

Is It the Flu or a Cold?

It’s easy to confuse a common cold with the flu. A cold is milder than the flu, but since the flu can make older people very sick, you should know the difference. That way you will know when to call the doctor who might want to give you a prescription for medicines that can help you get over the flu.

People with the flu can have fever, chills, dry cough, general aches and pains, and a headache. They feel very tired. Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems are less common. What some people call “stomach flu” is not influenza.

123
Next

Home   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Privacy   |   Terms Of Use   |   Advertise With Us   |   Sitemap
Copyright © 2019 Responsive Health
This site is intended to provide you with health information from publicly available sources, supporting vendors and partnered sources. While We make every effort to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, We make absolutely no assumption, inference, or declaration stating the information provided should be use as a source influencing any decisions on medical, diagnosis or treatment, or advice about what providers to use. The Site is an informational resource used for educational purposes only and cannot be used as a source used to make changes to medical treatment or lifestyle decisions without first consulting with your physician.