The flu has arrived. The Centers for Disease Control reports that the number of influenza cases is increasing in Maryland and across the country.
Symptoms of flu include a high fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, extreme tiredness, muscle aches and shortness of breath. Flu is contracted by inhaling respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. You can also become infected by touching an object contaminated by the flu virus (possibly from a hand that covered a sneeze) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
To prevent spreading or getting the flu, you should:
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, and wiping or blowing your nose.
- Use paper tissues when wiping or blowing your nose and throw them away after use.
- Cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow instead of into your bare hand.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as germs enter the body through these openings.
- Stay home if you have flu symptoms until you are fever-free without fever medicine for 24 hours.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay away from crowds, if possible.
- Get a flu shot. Fast Track Flu Shots are available at Patient First with little or no wait.