When it comes to preventing the flu, it's as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Cover coughs or sneezes.
3. Get a flu shot.
On average, 5 - 20 percent of people in the United States get the flu, with more than 200,000 people hospitalized each year for seasonal flu-related complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. Additionally, flu can escalate chronic conditions such as asthma and congestive heart failure.
Flu is unpredictable and severity can vary. Symptoms include:
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Fever or feeling feverish or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Vomiting or diarrhea, especially in children
Precautions such as hand-washing and covering coughs and sneezes can go far toward preventing flu's spread. But the single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot each fall.
Now is the time to think about how to stay healthy during the flu season. Flu vaccinations will be available at most Marshfield Clinic centers. Visit www.marshfieldclinic.org for information on flu vaccine services available at the Clinic location nearest you.