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What exactly is the flu? Do I really need a flu shot?

Authored by - Julie Eversole, Operations Manager at the Lung Center of America

Questions like these arise every year, and we are here to help!

The Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The beginning signs and symptoms of the Flu are fever/chills, cough, muscle, or body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue, and occasionally include gastrointestinal symptoms.

Last flu season an estimated 24,000 – 62,000 people died from the flu, according to the CDC.

How can you protect yourself from getting the flu?

  1. Get a flu shot! Getting a flu shot, or flu vaccine, is the single most effective way to protect oneself and others from the illness.

  2. Good hygiene! Wash your hands several times a day with warm, soapy water. If you are unable to wash your hands thoroughly, use hand sanitizer.

  3. Cover your mouth and nose! Most experts think that the flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

  4. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth! Every time we touch our mouth or nose, we are increasing the odds of transferring bacteria.

  5. Take care of yourself! Eat well, sleep 7-9 hours a night, exercise, and reduce your stress level. All of these make a huge difference in your immune system.

More questions? Contact Julie at LCOA and we will be glad to assist you.



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