A Banner Publication
October 12, 2006 – No. 2
Send this page to a friend!

Sponsored by:

Flu season will soon be here

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season in the United States typically lasts from November through March, which means the time for tissues and cough drops is fast approaching. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs, and is very contagious. Experts say that a person can spread the flu starting one day before he or she feels sick, and can continue to pass the flu virus to others for several days after symptoms start.

If you start experiencing such symptoms as a fever of 102 to 104 degrees, muscle aches, chills, severe cough, extreme weakness and fatigue, medical professionals strongly suggest seeing a doctor who can determine whether the symptoms indicate the flu or a different serious condition. If diagnosed with the flu, medical experts advise the following:

If possible, stay home from work to prevent spreading the illness.

  • Drink hot liquids to help soothe your throat and re-hydrate your body.
  • Don’t suppress coughs that produce mucus, and avoid eating dairy products, as they make it difficult to cough up mucus.
  • Suck on lozenges or hard candy to lubricate your throat.
  • To help alleviate muscle aches, check with your doctor to see if regular doses of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) are right for you.

Also, to reduce your chances of getting the flu:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

The flu vaccine is generally available beginning in October and November though people can get flu shots anytime during winter flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who meet the following criteria should get the flu shot:

  • People at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
    • Children aged 6–59 months
    • Pregnant women
    • People 50 years old and older
    • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as HIV, asthma, chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions, those with seizure disorders or spinal cord injuries). If in doubt whether a condition of yours falls into this category, contact your physician.
    • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Persons living in the same house as those who are at high risk for complications from the flu (see above)
    • Out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months old (these children are too young for the vaccine) and persons living in the same house as those children
    • Healthcare workers.

Back to Top

Home Sponsors Past IssuesScreeningsLinks & ResourcesBay State Banner Home Subscribe