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Avoid the Flu this Season [Infographic]

December 10, 2015
Fight the flu virus this season.

Winter’s almost here and coming with it is the next flu season. The weather’s been crazy and there are already a few bugs going around. Getting sick when the temperature drops might seem like an unwanted tradition, but with a few tips and a better understanding of the flu, maybe this can be the year to break that cycle.

Don’t get left out in the cold. Make sure to check in with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health for all the latest news and updates on this year’s flu season.

Use the infographic and the text below to keep some flu facts in mind and stay healthy.

Jump to the text alternative of this infographic.

Graphical representation of the text provided in this blog

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines the flu as “a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs.” Symptoms may include headaches, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, a sore throat, a fever, fatigue, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea.

The flu is most commonly spread through water droplets that are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. You can also catch the flu by touching objects that have the virus on them, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. Healthy adults are contagious as early as 1 day before they start to show symptoms and up to 5-7 days after getting sick. Children and people with weak immune systems will likely be contagious for longer.

The CDC strongly recommends that anyone over 6-months-old is vaccinated every year as the best method to prevent the flu. Vaccinations are available as various shots and a nasal spray, so you should research and talk to a professional before deciding which type is best for you. Each kind of vaccine works best for different people based on age, allergies and other factors.

Flu season peaks annually between December and February. It’s best to get vaccinated early — October is the ideal month for vaccination — but later is definitely better than never! If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet this season, talk with your doctor or pharmacist today.

Besides the vaccine, you can prevent spreading the flu virus by practicing these healthy habits daily:

  • Avoid close contact when you or somebody else is sick.
  • Stay at home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Keep up other habits like cleaning surfaces in your home and office, sleeping well, being physically active, managing stress, drinking fluids and eating nutritious food.

If you learn to recognize the flu virus when you see it, get vaccinated annually and keep up your healthy habits you’ll boost your chances of staying healthy all winter long.

See more flu tips from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Interface designer for GeorgiaGov. She visually organizes information and writes blogs on a variety of government-related topics.

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