The CDC estimates that up to 20% of the United Sates population gets the flu each year. The flu isn’t just a bad cold, it can cause serious complications in those at high risk (like the very young, pregnant women, people over 65, and those with a compromised immune system).
- 200,000 — Average number of Americans hospitalized each year because of problems with the illness.
- 3,000 to 49,000 — Number of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the U.S.
- $10 billion+ — Average costs of hospitalizations and outpatient doctor visits related to the flu.
- 1 to 4 days –– Typical time it takes for symptoms to show up once you’ve caught the virus. Adults can be contagious from the day before symptoms begin through 5 to 10 days after the illness starts.
Prevention is key when it comes to fighting the flu. Simple tactics can be used to decrease the chance you catch the flu this season:
— familydoctor.org (@familydoctor) December 2, 2018
- Get the flu shot. It isn’t too late- use this vaccine finder to find a location that provides flu shots near you.
- Wash your hands frequently (or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available)
- Disinfect high traffic areas
- Stay home if you are feeling ill
- Avoid being around those that are sick
- Don’t touch your face- one study done at UC Berkeley found people touch their faces an average of 15.7 times an hour!
- Use a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough (you might already be sick and not know it- it can take a couple of days before symptoms of flu show themselves).
Using these simple tactics, we can avoid illness during this cold and flu season.