Sunday, January 26, 2014 - Flu Facts. Did you know ...

Flu Facts

Influenza is a serious respiratory disease that kills an average of 36,000 people and hospitalizes more than 200,000 each year in the U.S.

Once infected, you can spread the virus to others for 24 hours before any symptoms appear.

The strains of virus that cause flu change almost every year, which is why you need to get a flu shot annually.

You cannot get flu from a flu shot injection.

The consequences of refusing to be vaccinated could endanger your health and those who you care for both in the hospital and at home.

Both the cold and flu are caused by viruses so they can’t be cured by an antibiotic.

Up to 30% of individuals infected with the flu do not have symptoms.

Preventing the flu reduces staff absenteeism.

Annually, the flu has a direct cost of 3 to 5 billion dollars.

It’s the leading cause of death due to a vaccine preventable disease.

Vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu.

Influenza Vaccine Facts

Influenza viruses are always changing, so annual vaccination is recommended.

Three influenza viruses are combined in one vaccine to increase the chance of covering the most common ones causing the flu this year.

It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop.

After the vaccination protection lasts for about one year.

So get vaccinated now!

Cold or Flu? Avoid both.

Here are just a few tips to help you avoid coming in contact with the viruses that cause the common cold and “flu”.

Keep your distance! If you know someone has a cold or the “flu”, give them plenty of space. The viruses are spread through coughing and sneezing or personal contact. Don’t take a chance of exposing yourself to their germs.

Wash your hands. Some viruses can survive on doorknobs, keyboards, and other objects. If you touch them and then touch your nose or mouth, you may get sick.

Wash your hands after being in a public place.

Avoid sharing mugs, cups, or utensils. Your friend may not look sick today, but…

Avoid second-hand smoke. If you yourself smoke, try to quit.

Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s sleep.

Get an influenza vaccination! Taking a proactive approach is still your best defense against that virus.

If you get sick

Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Avoid contact with others.

Cover your cough with a tissue and throw the tissue away.

Clean your hands after handling tissues and often through the day.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Call your physician if you are pregnant or otherwise at risk for flu complications or if your symptoms get worse.