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What is the flu?

The flu, or influenza, is a respiratory infection that is highly contagious. You can get the flu at any age, and most people recover in a few days without medical care. However, influenza can be very dangerous for elderly people, newborn babies and people with certain chronic illnesses.

What are symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms usually begin suddenly and may include:
  • Fever
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose or sneezing
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

How is the flu treated?

People who are otherwise healthy and get the flu will usually recover at home with rest, plenty of fluids and over-the-counter medicines. Your provider may prescribe medicine to lessen the symptoms and help your body fight the infection. Seeking treatment within the first 24 to 48 hours can help reduce the duration of the flu.

Receiving a yearly flu vaccination and practicing good hand hygiene are some of the best ways to avoid the flu altogether.
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