Flu Facts

Fall is here… the weather is getting cooler, days are getting shorter, and flu season is upon us. Whether or not you plan on getting a flu shot, these flu facts should come in handy.

Each year in the U.S.:

  • 5-20% of Americans get the flu
  • More than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu complications
  • Approximately 36,000 people die from the flu
  • One lot of the egg-based vaccine (400,000-500,000 doses) takes about 10 weeks to make
  • Antibiotics cannot cure the flu, however antiviral medication may help shorten the length of the flu
  • The flu costs about $71-$167 billion

How can you tell the difference between the flu and a cold?
In general, flu symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset
  • Fever and chills
  • Exhaustion and weakness
  • General aches and pains, including headaches
  • Dry cough

While cold symptoms more commonly include:

  • Gradual onset
  • Wet cough
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose and congestion
  • Mild fatigue

Flu complications include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • It can be life threatening, especially for at-risk populations, such as children and the elderly

Flu spreads by:

  • Coughing or sneezing on another person
  • Touching contaminated areas like phones or doorknobs and then touching your mouth or nose

You can help prevent flu by:

  • Vaccination
  • Antiviral medicine

Forewarned is forearmed. If you have more questions, consult your doctor. Take good care this flu season and stay healthy.

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