10 things you should know about the Cold/FLU
by Kasey Jones
1. Influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. The influenza virus usually enters the body through mucus membranes in the mouth, nose or eyes
2. Flu viruses spread in droplets caused by coughing or sneezing.
3. Symptoms of the FLU are high fever, shaking chills, chest pain, and coughing a mucus.
4. Symptoms of a cold are sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and aches. Symptoms are less severe compared to the FLU.
5. Antivirals are highly recommended by doctors for preventing, treating and easing flu symptoms. Antivirals are prescription medications that actively attack the flu virus and stop it from spreading to the rest of your body. In order to be effective, antiviral medications must be used within the first 12-48 hours of onset of flu symptoms.
6. . There are 3 types of influenza: A, B, & C. Influenza A is the most common of the three influenzas and causes the most serious epidemics in history. Influenza B outbreaks also can cause epidemics, but the disease it produces generally is milder than that caused by type A. Influenza C has never been connected with a large epidemic, usually just causing mild respiratory infections similar to the common cold.
7. There is not a pronounced “flu season”. It just comes around when the weather becomes cold. In the United States it is generally between October and May with the peak being December-March.
8. Antibiotics cannot cure the flu because the flu is a virus. If you believe you have the FLU see your doctor immediately.
9. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. It contains three seasonal influenza viruses that are grown in eggs. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses.
10. Hand washing is the most effective way to avoid FLU/Cold virus contact