By Kathryn Thacker

Flu (influenza) season is underway and has been since December 2020. The flu season typically is between December and February but can last up until May. During the season, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer and cover your cough to prevent the spread of the virus. The flu virus can be spread by person to person contact through sneezing, coughing and simply talking. Sometimes a person can contract the flu virus by simply touching a surface/object that has the flu virus on it and then touching his face, mouth or possibly eyes.

When a person has the flu, he is contagious for first three or four days of showing symptoms. The symptoms to look for include but are not limited to: fever/chills, cough, sore throat, muscle/body aches, headaches and fatigue. If you become ill with the flu virus, contact your healthcare provider or go to your local urgent care for treatment. Treatment for the flu includes prescribed antiviral drugs, drinking plenty of fluids and getting rest. To prevent the passing of the virus to family and friends remember to limit contact with others, disinfect all surfaces in your house and cover your cough/sneezes with a tissue. If you are sick with the flu, it is recommended that you stay home until you are 24 hours fever free. The fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

There are many ways to prevent the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly influenza vaccination generally by the end of October. Everyone six months and older are able to receive the vaccine as long as there are no allergies to the vaccine ingredients. Also taking everyday precautions to help prevent the virus and spreading it can be taken as well. These precautions include, avoiding close contact with anyone who has the virus and vice versa for you if you have the virus, wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available and disinfecting any surfaces that may become contaminated with the flu virus.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule your kids for their flu vaccine, please contact A Kidz Clinic at 970-874-2753.

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