It’s that time of year.
Along with the frigid weather, influenza has arrived in the St. Louis region. Confirmed cases increased sharply prior to the first of the year and remain at a high level. Flu season generally runs September through March, usually peaking in the January-February timeframe.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that usually comes on very suddenly. Symptoms are usually more severe than a routine cold and include:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
Early diagnosis and treatment are important to reduce the severity of illness associated with the flu. The best protection is vaccination and it’s not too late. Vaccinations are available through primary care offices and clinics, local health departments and retail pharmacies. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take full effect.
Contact your health provider if you have signs of the flu. Prescribed early, anti-virals can help lessen the severity of the symptoms.
Learn more about how you can protect yourself and your family:
Additional information is available at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.