Flu season is here!

Students washing their hands

The flu season is here; it usually runs from late fall to early spring. Protect yourself and others, by learning about the flu virus and recognizing the symptoms.

Influenza, commonly called "the flu", is a contagious disease caused by viruses which infect the respiratory tract including nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fatigue.  Anyone can catch the flu; most people usually recover completely within 7-10 days.

Although good personal hygiene practices reduce the risk of infection, the best effective method of prevention is still getting the flu vaccination annually.  Be sure to get your shot as soon as it is available because it takes two weeks to take effect.

Tips to avoid getting, and spreading the virus:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, with your bare hands
  • Stay at home when you're sick and get plenty of rest
  • Clean (and disinfect) surfaces and shared items

See a doctor if:

  • you don’t start to feel better after a few days
  • your symptoms get worse
  • you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms