When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season.
Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can occur as late as May.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you or your child gets sick, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus?
- If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible.
- Do not go to work or school if you are ill. Stay home until you are free of symptoms and not on fever-reducing medication for 24 hours.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your hand when coughing or sneezing if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.
What are the emergency warning signs that children need urgent medical attention?
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish or gray skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
- Severe fever of above 102°F (children below the age of 3 months who have a temperature of 100.4°F should seek medical attention)
- Has other conditions (like heart, lung or kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, or asthma) and develops flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough
DO NOT GIVE ANY ASPIRIN. Aspirin given to children with influenza has been linked to the very dangerous disease, Reye's Syndrome.
If you would like more information regarding this illness, you can visit the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov or your state or local health department.