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Flu Facts

woman receiving a shot

It’s officially flu season and your best defense is an annual flu shot. Without it, you could become seriously ill. Although the symptoms are similar, flu is much more serious than the common cold. In fact, more than 200,000 Americans were hospitalized for the flu last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The influenza virus is highly contagious and causes respiratory illness with symptoms that include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough and congestion
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with diabetes and heart disease are especially at risk. If you experience flu symptoms, be sure to see your doctor. For a list of Baton Rouge General primary care physicians, click here.

During flu season (now through April 2018), help prevent the spread of the virus. Wash your hands often and cover your mouth when you cough. (It’s best to cough into the crook of your arm rather than your hand.) Most important, stay home from school or work if you’re sick since the virus can easily be passed on to others.