The Flu and You

Posted at 11 a.m.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. While seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase this time of year.

People who have the flu often experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever (It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.)

The CDC recommends the following preventive measures to stay healthy this flu season, including:

  • Get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu vaccine. Vaccination of high-risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
  • Take daily actions to stop the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Reprinted from FEMA’s Oct. 6 edition of “Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief” email newsletter.

Four Ways to Fight the Flu

4 ways to fight the flue

Learn more about influenza and how to fight the flu from the Fairfax County Health Department.

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

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