| Feb 15, 2017
Seasonal influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease caused by flu viruses. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and can sometimes lead to death. According to the Ohio Department of Health, flu season in Ohio can begin as early as October and run as late as March. Unlike a cold, flu symptoms typically come on very suddenly. Individuals who experience some or all of the following symptoms should contact their health care provider right away:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
- Some people may have vomiting or diarrhea, but this is usually more common in children than adults.
*It is important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
Most people who get the flu will recover in a few days to less than a couple weeks, but some people develop complications, such as pneumonia, as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. Each year, an estimated 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu in the United States and is estimated that, on average, there are more than 20,000 flu-related deaths. Many of these deaths could have possibly been prevented with a flu vaccine.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) anyone, including healthy people, can get the flu and flu-related complications can happen at any age, but some individuals are at high risk for these serious complications. This includes people 65 years of age and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart-disease), pregnant women, and young children.
It is important to know that a flu shot is prevention and there’s still time to get one this year, until March 31st. Contact your doctor’s office or a local pharmacy to schedule an appointment today.
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