It is a respiratory illness caused by either the influenza A or influenza B viruses. Flu can cause mild to severe illness and can be fatal. The flu generally is a seasonal illness, commonly seen in Wisconsin during the fall and winter months.
Flu is spread by droplets, which are produced when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets may spread to others who are nearby. Someone also may contract the flu by touching a surface or object that has these droplets on them and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.
There is no treatment; however, some antiviral drugs are available that may reduce the severity of illness. Antiviral drugs should be taken within 48 hours after getting sick and may require a prescription from a primary health care provider. Bed rest, drinking lots of liquids, and taking pain relievers to help reduce any discomfort is recommended. Children should not be treated with aspirin due to risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
The best way is to get an annual flu shot.