Fever, fatigue, inflamed throat – oh my! Flu season is alive and well, and we hope you’ve been able to avoid the flu and all of the nasty symptoms that come with it.
The more you know about the flu and how it is spread, the better off you’ll be at avoiding it. Test your flu prevention smarts by taking the Flu IQ quiz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here’s to staying well this winter!
- A flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. True False
- The “stomach flu” and influenza are the same thing. True False
- Getting a flu vaccine in December or later is not too late. True False
- Flu viruses change constantly which requires a new flu vaccine to be produced each year. True False
- Washing your hands is the best thing you can do to protect against the flu. True False
- The flu vaccine protects against three strains of flu. True False
- The flu is typically spread through coughs and/or sneezes. True False
- The flu is not a serious illness. True False
- The flu vaccine is available as a shot or a nasal spray. True False
- You can spread the flu to others before you have symptoms. True False
1. True. The flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. The viruses in the vaccine are either killed (flu shot) or weakened (nasal spray vaccine), which means they cannot cause infection. 2. False. The flu is a respiratory (lung) disease, not a stomach or intestinal disease. The main symptoms of the flu are fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults. 3. True. CDC recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available and that vaccination continues into December, January and beyond. Influenza activity usually peaks in February most years, but disease can occur as late as May. 4. True. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on worldwide monitoring of influenza viruses. 5. False. CDC recommends a flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. However, preventative actions like covering your cough and washing your hands often are important everyday steps that can help stop the spread of germs. 6. True. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. 7. True. Flu virus is mainly spread through droplets from coughs and sneezes. 8. False. Flu is a serious contagious disease. Each year in the United States, on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and 36,000 people die from flu. 9. True. Flu vaccine is also available as a nasal spray (brand name FluMist®). The nasal spray flu vaccine is an option for healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. *”Healthy” indicates persons who do not have an underlying medical condition that predisposes them to influenza complications. 10. True. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.