Flu season’s here. Provide your employees with a good dose of facts about preventing and treating flu.
Flu is primarily spread through the air when infected people cough or sneeze. But flu viruses can also be transmitted by touching objects that an infected person has touched. The virus gets on the sick person’s hands when he or she coughs or sneezes.
From the hands the virus gets onto whatever that the person touches. When you touch the same object, the virus gets on your hands. Then if you touch your nose, mouth, or eyes, you can become infected, too.
If you shake hands with contagious people who have flu germs on their hands, you could get infected that way, too.
Some flu viruses can live on surfaces, such as door handles, phones, keyboards, counters, and tools, for several hours.
If you have the virus, you can infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and for 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for even longer than 7 days.
Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons can still spread the virus to others.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can help treat the illness.
Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early (within the first 2 days of symptoms) to treat people who are very sick (such as those who are hospitalized) or people who are sick with flu symptoms and who are at increased risk of severe flu illness, such as pregnant women, young children, people 65 and older and people with certain chronic health conditions.
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