Flu & Cold
Fight the Bug
Flu, also referred to as influenza is a serious respiratory disease spread primarily through coughing and sneezing. Some symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, body aches, headaches for one week or longer. Flu season begins when cold weather appears. The typical flu season runs October-May, with peak season hitting December-March.
Top 10 Ways to Fight the Bug
10. Wash surfaces you use regularly. (Door knobs, sinks, desk/workspace, laptop, cell phone, mice, keyboard you get the idea)
9. Limit contact with your eyes, nose, ears, & mouth. (This is how most germs are spread.)
8. SLEEP. This is your excuse to sleep in, take a nap, & relax.
7. Eat your Vitamins! Dont just take a pill, try to eat a balanced diet to keep your immune system happy & healthy.
6. Get the Flu Vaccine.
5. Refrain from smoking or quit! (www.quitnet.com) Smoke irritates your nasal passages and compromises your immune system. Avoid sharing hookahs & pipes if you choose to smoke.
4. Same for alcohol... limit your intake. And avoid sharing cups & drinks if you choose to drink.
3. Lower your stress. Just like smoking & alcohol, stress also strains your immune system. Take a Mental Health Day if you're feeling overwhelmed. Take a step back and put things into perspective. Talk to a counselor, we're here to help.
2. Cough or Sneeze into your sleeve, not into your hand. Germs will die much quicker on your clothes than your hands. If a disposable tissue is handy, that's the best method. Click here to learn more about "Why We Do It In Our Sleeves."
1. WASH YOUR HANDS! Use soap, hot water, & scrub vigorously for 20 SECONDS! Sing the "ABCs" twice through - that's 20 seconds. Friction kills germs - so rub away. Carry gel hand sanitizer if you cannot wash with soap & water. Always use a paper towel to turn off the sink and open the door.
Flu & Cold - What's the Difference?
The cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different types of viruses. Flu symptoms can be mild or severe and if they're mild can become severe without much notice. Be aware of your body and monitor your body temperature.
If you have a cold you will probably demonstrate the following symptoms: a hacking, mucus producing cough, sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat and mild chest discomfort. These symptoms are not sudden, and will gradually develop over a few days.
To cure a common cold you should drink a lot of fluids and get a lot of rest.
Flu symptoms usually come on quickly (within 3-6 hours) and consist of a fever, body aches, dry cough, and extreme tiredness. Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, may also occur with the flu but are more common in children than adults. You don't need to experience all of these symptoms to have the flu.
The flu is a virus and is untreatable by antibiotics. If you have one or two of the symptoms listed above, it's recommended that you see your doctor.
Studies show that flu shots are 70-90% affective in fighting the flu. Do you have needlephobia? In September of 2007 the FDA approved the use of a nasal-spray vaccine! The best time to get your flu shot is October or November.
There are a lot of myths about the flu vaccine. Below are some common myths and the correct facts:
Myth: "The flu isn't a serious disease."
Fact: the flu is a serious disease of the nose, throat, and lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia. Each year about 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die because of the flu.
Myth: "The flu shot can cause the flu."
Fact: the flu shot cannot cause the flu. Some people get a little soreness or redness where they get the shot. It goes away in a day or two. Serious problems from the flu shot are vey rare.
Myth: "The flu shot does not work."
Fact: Most of the time the flu shot will prevent the flu. In scientific studies, the effectiveness of the flu shot has ranged from 70-90% when there is a good match between circulating viruses and those in the vaccine. Getting the vaccine is your best protection against this disease.
Myth: "The side effects are worse than the flu."
Fact: The worst side effect you're likely to get from a shot is a sore arm. The nasal mist flu vaccine might cause nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and cough. The risk of a severe allergic reaction is less than 1 in 4 million.
Myth: "You must get the flu vaccine before December."
Fact: Flu vaccine can be given before or during the flu season. The best time to get vaccinated is October or November. But you can get vaccinated in December.
For information and more facts about the flu, visit FluFacts.com.
For information about flu vaccinations at the Health and Counseling Center, call 303-871-2205 or visit the HCC website.
For further information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.