As a refresher, Eric Johnson reminds us, what the flu or Influenza is and is not:

The Flu Is Not
nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, (commonly called stomach flu).

The Flu Is
a respiratory illness characterized by high fever, cough, nasal congestion, body aches and headache.

“Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable,” in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And,”Flu often does not get enough respect.”

Influenza is caused by one or more viruses that circulate through the northern hemisphere every winter (it is present in equatorial regions all year). And every year the mix of circulating viruses change and the annual flu vaccines change to try and match the that year’s particular strains. This is why yearly vaccination is recommended.

Influenza can be a serious illness, particularly in children and older adults. Currently there is minimal influenza activity in the United States, meaning this is a good time to get immunized.

Every year an average of over 200,000 people are hospitalized with influenza and some years this has reached almost a half a million hospitalizations. Additionally up to 49,000 deaths have occurred form influenza, mostly in the old and young.

The main way influenza viruses are thought to spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. It can also be picked up from contaminated surfaces. This makes influenza an illness that can be difficult to avoid.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends every one get immunized.

Some groups are at higher risk including the elderly, the very young, pregnant women, persons with heart and lung diseases as well as diabetes and those who will be around infants less than 6 months of age.

And the vaccine is very effective. So don’t wait until it is too late.

Get immunized against the flu today! To make an appointment, call: 970-728-3848

6 Additional Ways to stay flu-free:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  2. When possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick

  3. Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing

  4. Wash your hands frequently

  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

  6. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods