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Unformatted text preview: Influenza With November comes the colder weather of winter, which marks the beginning of flu season. The flu, or Influenza, is most common in the months between November and April. Many people confuse Influenza with more serious disease like Mononucleosis or bacterial Meningitis. With months of cold winter to come, it is important to recognize the similarities and differences of Influenza, Mononucleosis, and Meningitis, as well as who is most at risk. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (1). It is more common in kids that adults, and is recognized by symptoms of headaches, fever, chills, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, cough, muscle pain, and earaches. It shares many similar symptoms with the common cold, but Influenza will last longer and have stronger symptoms (1). Most of the symptoms are gone after at least five days of drinking plenty of fluids and getting a lot of sleep. There is no medication to treat the flu, but ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be taken to relieve fever and aches. Influenza is a viral infection easily spread through the air. People infected are contagious from the day prior to the appearance of symptoms until their symptoms have concluded. It can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People in close contact with someone who has the flu are also susceptible to catching it. The only protection available from Influenza is the Flu Vaccine. Usually offered from September to November, the flu vaccine reduces someones chances of becoming infected with the flu by 80 percent. Even if someone does become infected by the flu virus after the vaccine, they will...
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- Spring '08