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Facts about Flu
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 8:11 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16705

It's flu season, again, from October to May in North America. There are different flu viruses. Influenza is serious because it is highly contagious, it can make a lot of people very sick, and it can be deadly.  


We don't want to be sick with the flu.  We have enough to deal with.  I found some information to help us avoid or minimize getting sick.  


What's so bad about the flu? It's just a cold, isn't it? The flu is a viral respiratory illness that lasts about 2 weeks and will lay a person up for that length of time. The symptoms are fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches and malaise--the general feeling of feeling sick and rotten.  


You are contagious most of that time, so you can spread it to others. You can be contagious before you show symptoms, so general preventions measures are most important. 


Most people recover without treatment, but there are people who are prone to complications. People with weakened immune systems or predisposing illness can develop pneumonia or worsening of their primary illness. Also, flu is a cause of death for some vulnerable people, especially pregnant women. 


There is anti-viral medication that can shorten the illness, but it must be taken within 2 days of the beginning of the illness. NOTE, antibiotics will not treat the flu or other viral diseases, such as the common cold. 


The flu spreads through droplets from the respiratory passages via coughing and sneezing. Droplets can be spread several feet in the air and also land on surfaces, where viable virus can be picked up by other people.  


The prevention of the flu is three fold. 1) avoid people ill with the flu because they are contagious 2) avoid flu virus by good handwashing and disinfecting surfaces 3) prevent the flu and its complications by vaccination. 


There is much good information on the internet about influenza, prevention and treatment. The main recommendations are good handwashing and get an influenza vaccine. Here are links to sources of more information. I picked out what I thought are the most interesting and easy to understand information for us, but there is much more.  




General info about influenza, with more links:  


Influenza--One Minute Medical School  


from Third Age: 


from the Mayo Clinic:  




Preventing influenza:

2 from the Center for Disease Control:   


2 from WebMD: 


from Youtube:

How influenza spreads:  

especially watch the first part of video








2 handwashing videos from Youtube:  





How to disinfect surfaces:  




About Influenza vaccine: 


from Youtube:  






If you have flu information overload, just look at the youtube videos.  


If you have more questions about the flu, please post them and I will try to answer them or locate the answers for you. 


Let's kick flu in the butt this year!


Iris L.