Hey You, Avoid the Flu!

Did you know that someone with the flu can spread it to others as far as 6 feet away by coughing or sneezing? Put your flu knowledge to the test by taking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Flu Quiz.

While a bout with the flu is unpleasant and typically causes weakness, fever, body aches, sore throat, and a cough for as long as two weeks, serious complications from the virus can occur. Influenza can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus or ear infections. According to the CDC, “The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.” For certain segments of the population, especially those age 65 and older, complications from influenza can be fatal. Over 90% of deaths from the virus during a normal flu season occur in those age 65+.

The flu season typically peaks in February, but vaccine programs usually become available as early as October. If you haven’t gotten your vaccination yet, most local pharmacies and doctor’s offices offer the service. Contact your HR department to see if they can bring the flu shot to your office. And just because you got the flu shot last year doesn’t mean you are protected. New viruses are incorporated into the vaccine each year and immunity decreases over time, so it is recommended that people get vaccinated each year.

To learn more about influenza, visit the CDC’s website.

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