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Protect yourself - and others - from the flu

Updated: Tuesday, January 15 2013, 11:56 AM EST
The flu virus is catching on across the country.
It may seem like you can't escape getting sick, but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Kalie Desimone: Doctors say the waiting room in the ER has been full for the past few months. People are coming in complaining of a fever, chills, and body aches. So what can you do to decrease your chance of catching the flu.

You want to get that flu shot as soon as you can if you haven't already. You also want to make sure you're wiping down common surfaces.
Some viruses like the flu can linger on keyboards or phones for hours.

Hand washing is another big way to protect yourself. Doctors say you should try avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs spread that way.

Choosing healthy foods, drinking plenty of fluid and getting extra rest when possible will also decrease your chances of getting the flu.

Experts say the types of flu going around right now are bad ones, mostly the A-type strains, which can make you feel pretty miserable.

If you're still feeling poorly doctors can prescribe a  flu medicine that attacks the flu at its source

Dr. Paul Henning- Emergency Medicine, Sacred Heart Hospital
"The influenza vaccine have shown to only be about 60 percent effective so even if you have the vaccine, you have ti remember it could be very likely be influenza that you've been infected with."

Dr. Paul Henning- Emergency Medicine, Sacred Heart Hospital
"Bottom line is if anyone is trying to self doctor themselves, come into the hospital, get a physical exam to see what's going on. Common sense prevails, and you need to use diligence and take some precautions."

Kalie Desimone: Doctors say it's important to realize that the flu is contagious one day before symptoms start and up to 4 or 5 days after the illness. That means you should stay home so you body can recover.
For information about flu activity in your area visit and click on Flu Tracker.

Protect yourself - and others - from the flu

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Flu Signs and Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:


Flu Symptoms (more intense than common cold):

  • Fever 
  • Body aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough are more common and intense
  • Chills
  • HeadachesCommon

Cold Symptoms:  
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever is rare
  • Slight body aches
  • Mild fatigue

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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