The flu (influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness. At times it can lead to death.
Influenza poses a greater risk to certain people, including pregnant women, children, and elders who are at risk for flu-related complications. The flu can also cause certain health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, and heart and lung disease, to become worse.
Signs and symptoms of the flu may include some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (feeling very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
- *Not everyone with the flu will have a fever. You can be sick and contagious without running a temperature.
To prevent the spread of the Flu:
*Get a flu shot each year
Stop the spread of germs and viruses:
- Cover your cough and sneezes
- Wash your hands often
- If you are sick, stay home
*The influenza vaccine is safe; you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. People have been receiving flu vaccines for more than 50 years. Vaccine safety is closely monitored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The virus in the flu shot is killed so it can not cause the flu.
You need to get a flu shot each year because influenza viruses are always changing and immunity wanes over time. Each year experts identify the flu viruses most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season. Your flu vaccine protects you against those viruses.
Dr. Newton, Clinical Director of the Oneida Indian Nation Health Services, and his staff recommend the flu vaccine for all persons ages 6 months and older as well as those who are at the greatest risk of complications. Oneida Indian Nation Health Services provides preservative free flu shots to our patients. For more information about the flu vaccine or to schedule an appointment call (315) 829-8700 or 1-800-663-4324.