What is the flu?
Influenza, commonly called the flu, is an infectious disease of the respiratory tract – the nose, throat, and lungs. Symptoms of influenza, which can come on suddenly, include the following:
- fever and chills
- cough, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose
- body aches and pain
- weakness and tiredness, sometimes severe
- irritated watering eyes.
If diagnosed with the flu you should get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. If you notice symptoms it is best to seek treatment within the first two days.
The flu can be prevented by getting an annual flu vaccination. If you develop flu symptoms you should follow basic hygiene practices to avoid spreading the disease to other people, including:
- washing your hands regularly and thoroughly
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- not sharing eating or drinking utensils
- staying away from work or school if you have symptoms.
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