Fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, nausea: If these symptoms hit, you may have been bitten by the flu bug.
People over age 65 are at a greater risk for flu-related illness and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children younger than 5 also are at high risk.
Flu season occurs in the fall and winter, peaking between late November and early March, and it's an epidemic every year. The makeup of flu viruses can change from year to year, making it difficult to predict. Flu spreads through droplets when people sneeze or cough, and on surfaces. People are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to a week after. When you don't feel well, it's best to take care of yourself and co-workers by staying home. And don't go back to work (or school) for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.
● CDC recommends everyone older than 6 months get an annual flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine becomes available; October is the ideal time to get vaccinated, but it's never too late
● The National Safety Council, a trusted voice throughout the pandemic, also encourages everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine
● If you don't like needles, ask your doctor if a nasal flu spray is available
● Avoid being around sick people if possible
● Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
● Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with the inside of your arm rather than your hand
● Avoid touching your face
● Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated
It is difficult to calculate the number of flu deaths annually, according to the CDC. States are not required to report flu deaths, not everyone who dies with flu symptoms is tested for flu, and the virus can cause death when other health conditions are present. About 5% to 20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year, and the number of deaths vary depending on the severity of the outbreak.
Keep yourself and others safer by getting a flu shot. Vaccines do not give people the flu.
NSC is leading a comprehensive effort to help employers prioritize safety as they return to traditional work environments. Learn more.