Flu Info

Seasonal Influenza: Flu Basics

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

For more information on the flu, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control.

Things You Can Do to Stay Healthy

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, exercise, and relaxation.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available. Be sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs spread this way.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.
  • Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
  • Do not use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a co-worker’s phone, desks, or other equipment, clean it first.
  • Don’t spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home.
  • Symptoms of flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. CDC recommends that sick workers stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Get vaccinated against seasonal flu when vaccine is available in your area.

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