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Flu Season Continues

woman laying on couch sick with 2020 winter flu

Flu Symptoms and Prevention for the 2020 Winter Flu

Influenza, more commonly known as “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory virus that may mimic a cold but to greater severity. There are two main types of influenza – type A and type B. People who have the flu often witness some or all the following symptoms.

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (important to know that not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea (this is more common in children than adults)

The virus can be contracted through inhalation of air droplets (produced by a cough, sneeze or talking of a person who has the flu) or by touching your mouth, nose or eyes after contacting a surface contaminated with the flu virus. You are contagious both prior to experiencing illness symptoms and while you are sick. Some individuals with the flu never present symptoms but are still contagious.

How to Prevent the 2020 Winter Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about eight percent of the U.S. population gets sick from the flu each year. This year’s influenza-like activity is high, trending similarly to the 2017-2018 flu season. Therefore, it’s important to take precautions to prevent the flu. One of the easiest ways to prevent it is to get the flu vaccine each year. According to the CDC, receiving the flu shot has been shown to reduce flu-related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications. Other forms of prevention include the following.

  • Staying away from people who are sick
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Frequent hand-washing

Utilize your annual wellness visit to discuss which vaccine is most appropriate for you. Nutritious food choices, adequate vitamin D levels, routine physical activity, quality sleep, minimal stress and personal hygiene help you fight the virus with a strong immune system.

You can find more information about the flu and prevention strategies by clicking here.


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