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What is influenza?

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•  Influenza is commonly referred to as the “flu”
•  Contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses
•  Infect the nose, throat and lungs
•  Can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death

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How does it spread?

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•  It is often spread by coughing, sneezing or talking
•  A person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, and then touching his or her own mouth, eyes or nose

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What are the symptoms?

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Symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 days after exposure and may include:

•  Fever (though not everyone with flu will have a fever)
•  Cough
•  Sore throat
•  Runny or stuffy nose
•  Body aches & chills
•  Headache & fatigue (tiredness)
•  Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

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How long will I be sick?

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•  Most people are ill for less than a week
•  Some people have complications and may need to be hospitalized

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Who gets influenza?

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•  People of all ages can contract the flu
•  There are certain groups of people who can have severe complications from the flu
•  Children ages 6 months through 4 years, especially ages 2 and under
•  People over age 50, and those with co-existing medical problems such as heart problems, lung problems, diabetes or a poor immune system. Their caregivers and household contacts should also get the shot
•  Pregnant women

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How do I protect myself and loved ones against the flu?

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•  Get a flu shot
•  Hand washing
•  Cough into your elbow

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What if I get the flu?

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•  If caught early enough there are antiviral medications that can treat the flu
•  Be sure to be seen by your Health Care Provider or visit one of BetterMed’s 8 locations
•  You should stay away from others as much as possible as the flu is contagious 1 day before symptoms start and up to 7 days after you start noticing its symptoms

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