Two Ways to Avoid the Flu

woman in winter coat sneezing into tissue

Influenza, or the"flu," is a contagious illness of the respiratory tract that is caused by several strains of the influenza virus. A person may be contagious one day prior to having any symptoms and can continue to spread the virus up to a week after feeling sick.
Signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  •         Fever/chills
  •         Fatigue
  •         Cough
  •         Body aches
  •         Sore throat
  •         Headaches
  •         Runny nose

1. The best way to prevent getting the flu is to practice proper hygiene (e.g. frequent hand washing, covering mouth while sneezing).

2. Another key to flu prevention is getting your flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months old should be vaccinated and puts special emphasis on people in the high-risk groups. It takes about two weeks for your body to build up an immune response after receiving the vaccine, and since we never know when the flu season will hit each year, the recommendation is to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available.

Dr. Andrea Giamalva is a family physician at SwedishAmerican's Belvidere clinic. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call (779) 696-8650.