Flu season is in full swing, and many families are already being impacted by it this year.
Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of viruses. In the United States, there is a flu season that begins every fall and ends every spring. The type of flu people get during this season is called seasonal flu. Flu viruses spread from person to person when people who are infected cough or sneeze. Adults may be able to infect others one day before getting symptoms and as long as 5 days after getting sick.
The American Red Cross has some tips to staying healthy this flu season. First, Always practice good health habits to maintain your body’s resistance to infection. Things such as eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of fluids, getting plenty of excercise, managing stress, and getting enough rest and sleep.
They also have some suggestions on keeping from spreading germs that can cause the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective when soap and water aren’t available, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way and try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Flu is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
The Red Cross also suggests geting a flu shot every year. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to minimize illness and death.