It's Flu Season: Resources and Information
Posted on 01/31/2018

As a particularly treacherous flu season continues across the country, here's what you need to know:

Influenza, or the flu, is a disease that mainly affects people's airways and lungs. It can cause serious illness for some people, such as infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with long-term health conditions. Common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, exhaustion, headache, body aches and vomiting or diarrhea.

Influenza spreads readily from person to person in schools, workplaces and homes. The flu germs spread when people cough, sneeze or talk. Germ-laden hands can pass the flu germs onto other objects. You can get the flu if you touch a surface with flu germs and then touch your nose, mouth or eyes.

The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an annual flu vaccine to prevent sickness, healthcare visits, hospitalizations and deaths from influenza. Protection lasts throughout the flu season, which usually peaks in January or February and continues into the spring.

You should also wash your hands often, or use hand sanitizer if you don't have soap and water, to prevent the flu. If you do have the flu, stay home from work or school and be sure to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

Talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about which flu vaccine is recommended for you. You can also use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to identify locations with immunization services near you here. Public Health - Seattle & King County also lists ways to find an immunization clinic here.

(Information and photo via Public Health - Seattle & King County)

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