Prevent and Protect Against Seasonal Influenza (the Flu): Stay Home When Sick!

The Forest County Health Department is reminding people that they can take steps now to stop the spread of influenza, and one of the biggest steps they can take is Stay Home When Sick!

Influenza activity has been increasing across the state. So far, Influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the most common flu viruses circulating this season. H3N2 predominant flu seasons have been associated with more severe illness, especially among children and adults age 65 and older.

Symptoms of influenza are similar to cold symptoms, but come on more swiftly and are more pronounced. Symptoms can include cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, chills, feelings of extreme tiredness, and fever. It should be noted that not everyone with the flu will experience fever.

It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.

Other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading the flu include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Throw tissue out after one use
  • Never share drinking cups, straws, or utensils
  • Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, phones and faucets
  • When possible, avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms
  • Eat nutritious meals
  • Do NOT smoke
  • Get plenty of rest

If you have been exposed to someone with influenza, or who are experiencing symptoms of influenza, consult with your health care provider immediately to determine if antiviral drugs may be helpful. Treatment with antiviral medications can sometimes lessen the effects of influenza, if treatment is started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Antibiotics are not effective against influenza.

Click below to view a video featuring Influenza Coordinator, Tom Haupt from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for an update on the current flu season and for recommendations.


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