Fact: What you might think is a common cold could actually be influenza (the flu.)
Today, we can better diagnose the flu, which can be a serious disease causing hospitalization and sometimes even death. Most of the people at risk are over 65, small children, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases like asthma.
Symptoms can include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
Some people may vomit and have diarrhea. You could be infected even if you only have a few or no symptoms. Flu viruses are constantly changing and can affect people differently.
Everyone over 6 months old should get a shot each year to reduce the chance of getting sick. This cuts down on doctor visits, missed work or school, hospitalizations and deaths. It may also make your illness milder if you do get sick.
Medicare covers both flu and pneumonia shots with no co-pay or deductible. Children who qualify for Medicaid and CHIP also qualify for the shots.
For more information go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm