Flu Season 101

Flu stats:

5% to 20%— Percentage of people in North America who get the flu each year.

Person to person—People with the flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses spread mainly by the droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk.

1 to 4 days —Typical time it takes for flu symptoms to show up once you’ve caught the virus. Adults are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after the illness starts.

Peak flu season: Late November through March


Flu prevention:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well!
  • Wash your hands often
  • Use a tissue (or your sleeve it’s all you’ve got!)
  • Don’t sneeze into your hands—use your elbow instead
  • Avoid sick people
  • Get the flu shot every year
  • Make sure and stay healthy with a regular 30 minutes of physical activity per day
  • Get enough sleep (sleep-deprived people produce fewer virus-fighting cells)
  • Disinfect doorknobs regularly (and shopping cart handles, etc.) to get rid of influenza virus and other germs


Flu vaccine facts & myths

MYTH: The flu shot can give me the flu

FACT: Flu viruses in flu shots are inactive—they can’t cause infection

MYTH: It’s better just to get the flu rather than get a vaccine

FACT: Getting the flu shot may help reduce illness and prevent sick time from work

MYTH: I should wait to be vaccinated so I’m covered the whole flu season

FACT: Get a flu shot as soon as it’s available because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop

MYTH: Vaccines aren’t proven to prevent the flu

FACT: If you get the flu vaccine, you’re about 60% less likely to need treatment for the flu


Flu symptoms

Cold vs. flu

Cold: loss of appetite, sore throat, sneezing, cough, vomiting

Flu: muscle pain, high fever, headache, fatigue, chills


Got the flu?

“I think I have the flu, but I can’t miss work. I’ll be okay.”

If this is you, before you dig in and try to get through a work day with the flu, consider this: By spreading your germs (especially if you have a fever!), you could be putting others at risk. If you’re sick, stay home!