What Is Flu Season?
Flu season is the time of year when the flu virus is most common. Flu season usually begins when cold weather appears. It’s simply a characteristic of the flu and the time of the seasons.
Outbreaks of the flu occur in different seasonal patterns around the world. In temperate climate zones, flu season will typically begin in the late fall and peak in mid-to-late winter.
Flu Season in the United States
Annual outbreaks of seasonal usually occur during the fall through early spring. In a typical year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu. Flu-related deaths range from 3.000 to 48,600 (average 23,600). A seasonal flu vaccine is available.
The overall health impact of the flu varies from year to year. Unfortunately, rates of infection, hospitalizations, and deaths can’t be predicted, but by identifying flu symptoms, and knowing about flu treatment and flu prevention options, you cna be better prepared to face the flu season.
Is It Flu?
Flu symptoms can be mild or severe, and can come on suddenly-be sure you know your flu treatment options so you can be prepared. Symptoms generally appear 1 to 4 days after exposure to the virus.
If you have one or more of the symptoms, you could have the flu.
Flu Prevention Tips
Don’t have the flu and don’t want to get it? Here some some health habits you can work into your life to minimize the chances of getting the flu.
Wash your hands
The flu virus can spread by direct contact, such as sharing drinks, or through indirect contact, such as when an infected coworker sneezes on her hands, and touches an object like the lunchroom microwave door. The influenza virus can live for 2 to 8 hours on surfaces. During flu season, everyone should wash their hands frequently to reduce the risk of transmitting germs to others.
Cover your sneezes and coughs
When you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue (not your hands), and be sure to throw the tissue away immediately.
You can also cough into your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue handy. Hand sanitizers can also help. Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth to keep germs away.