<![CDATA[Did you know that up to 20 percent of Americans are diagnosed with the flu each year? One of the best ways to prevent the flu virus is to get the flu shot each year. The flu shot—and other vaccines—are usually covered free of cost under most insurance plans. So what are you waiting for?
What Is the Flu?The flu virus, also known as influenza, is a very contagious respiratory virus. Symptoms of the flu virus may not appear until a day or two after the person has been infected with the flu. Therefore, people can have the flu, not know it yet and then spread it to others before even the first symptom appears.
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in muscles
- Runny nose
- Cough (dry or with phlegm)
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
Who Needs a Flu Shot?While guidelines recommend that nearly everyone receive a flu shot on a yearly basis, there are some groups of people who need the vaccine more than others. The flu shot is especially important for people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, people with asthma, children younger than age 5, or people who suffer from health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Flu Prevention Tips
- Avoid close contact with others.
- If you get sick, stay home.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing.
- Clean your hands frequently.