Influenza or the “flu” is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by the influenza virus When people who are suffering from the flu, cough, sneeze or talk, droplets of moisture from these actions can be inhaled and can infect people up to six feet away.
The flu can come on abruptly. The symptoms of the flu include a high fever of up to 104 degrees and extreme fatigue. Other symptoms include, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, muscle aches and a cough. Anyone exhibiting these symptoms should stay at home and stay hydrated with water and juices.
The following individuals should take extra precautions during the flu season:
Anyone 65 or older.
Residents of long-term care facilities
Adults or children with chronic pulmonary or cardiopulmonary disorders.
Immunosuppressed children or adults, such as premature infants and cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy.
Children and teenagers on long-term aspirin therapy.
Some tips to help prevent the spread of the flu virus include:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Avoid close contact with sick people.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend that staying home as long as your fever lasts and then another 24 hours after it is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine. The only reason to go out should be for medical care or for other necessities. If symptoms do not improve over several days, the CDC suggests seeking medical treatment.
Peterson noted that "If going out for medical care, individuals are encouraged to use a mask to help decrease the spread of infection, Masks are available at a local drugstore. And individual mask can be obtained at your KCH doctor's office or at registration at KCH if you are coming for care."