Seasonal Influenza Information for Patients

Preventing the flu

The CDC recommends three actions to fight the flu.

  • Get vaccinated: Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive the annual flu vaccine.
  • Stop the spread of germs: There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent the flu virus from spreading, such as washing your hands, covering your cough, and avoiding those who are sick.
  • Take antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. These medicines can help fight the flu.

Do I have the flu?

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Signs of the flu include:

  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • extreme tiredness
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

When to seek medical care

Most people with the flu do not need to seek medical care, and will recover without complications in 1-2 weeks. While you are sick, avoid others as much as possible to prevent the spread of the flu.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, or at high risk for developing flu-related complications, contact your doctor.

If you or someone you know have emergency warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

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