The sniffliest season of all is among us, and it won’t peak until January or February. That’s right, it is prime time for the flu. Flu.gov, a website provided by the Department of Health and Human Services says that anywhere between 5 and 20 percent of Americans contract the flu every year.
Seasonal flu has symptoms that last one to two weeks, and should not be confused with what people call “stomach flu.” The flu is an upper respiratory illness. It ranges from mild to severe, and in extreme cases, can be life threatening. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually for flu-related reasons.
Symptoms of the flu can include: cough/sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, body/muscle aches, chills, fatigue. Some people may experience fever, and/or nausea. Many of these symptoms overlap with the common cold. Flu symptoms are considered worse than what people feel when they have a cold. There are measures that can be taken to prevent being sidelined with the flu. Ahead of peak season, here are 6 recommendations for how to avoid contracting the illness this year.