April 2018
Influenza (the Flu)
Infectious Diseases, Nurse, Other Licensed Professionals, Patient/Relative/Visitor/Caregiver
No

Key Facts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Icon showing symbol for fall and winter seasonsWhile the flu can occur year-round in the US, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter.

 

 

 

 

Icon expressing 35.6 million peopleThe severity of the flu in the US can vary widely and is determined by many things, but it can affect up to 35.6 million people every year.

 

 

 

 Symptoms of the Flu & Risk Factors

Icon of a clipboard checklist

        • Fever/Chills   
        • Cough/Sore Throat
        • Runny Nose
        • Body Aches
        • Vomiting/Diarrhea

People who are at a higher risk of getting the flu or a serious complication include young children, people over 65, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or asthma.

Contact your healthcare provider for more information or visit: www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html

Protect Yourself

Get a flu shot.

It’s even more important if you’re at a higher risk of getting the flu.

Ask your doctor if you need medication.

There are drugs that can make the flu milder & shorten the time you’re sick. They may also prevent complications and are most effective if taken within two days of symptoms. They are not antibiotics. Antibiotics do not treat the flu.

You need a prescription from a doctor. You can’t get these drugs over the counter.

Limit the spread of germs.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue after you use it. Wash your hands with soap and water often. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people.

Stay home!

If you think you have the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. It’s ok to leave to go to the doctor.

©2018 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority