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What is the Flu and How Can I Stay Healthy?

What is the flu?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that often spreads before an infected person begins to show symptoms. It is possible to spread the flu virus for up to seven days before becoming ill. Most people recover from the flu within a couple of weeks, but the flu can cause serious complications, such as bacterial infections, pneumonia, and worsening of chronic medical conditions.

How does it spread?

The flu virus is spread by droplets created when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. As the droplets travel into the personal space of a non-infected person, the droplets enter their nose or mouth or are inhaled into the lungs. The flu can also be spread by touching a surface or object containing the flu virus, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

What are the symptoms?

The flu can cause mild to severe illness and has the potential to lead to death due to complications. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

– Fever (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)

– Cough

– Sore throat

– Runny or stuffy nose

– Muscle or body aches

– Headaches

– Fatigue or tiredness

– Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

How do I treat the flu?

Most people suffering from the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. Rest and plenty of fluids are the primary treatment as the body fights the infection on its own. If you have flu symptoms, staying home and avoiding contact with other individuals is recommended to stop the spread.

How do I stay healthy?

The best way to reduce the risk of the flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting vaccinated each year. Children, adults 65 and older, adults with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications and should get vaccinated.

To avoid becoming sick with the flu, keep your distance from those who are ill. If you live in the same household as someone with the flu and cannot avoid all contact, here are some helpful tips to prevent the spread of the virus:

– Wash your hands frequently with soap and water; if these are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to cleanse your hands

– Disinfect surfaces or objects that may harbor the flu virus. Use paper towels that can be easily discarded or cloth towels that can be washed

– Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes as this is where the virus can enter your body

– Keep your personal items separate from those of the person who is sick. This includes clothing, eating utensils, and toothbrushes

– Wash your towels and clothing with hot water as it helps kill the flu virus

– Wear disposable gloves if you are cleaning up body fluids or flu-contaminated items, such as tissues

– Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough

Headlands Research and Flu Vaccines

The majority of Headlands Research’s sites conduct flu vaccine studies. Ongoing research helps us learn more about influenza and the potential for new developments in vaccine technology to help keep people healthy.

Clinical trials can potentially lead to life-changing new vaccines. You could help make a difference by participating in a flu vaccine study. View our sites to see if a location near you has a current flu vaccine study.

Partner With Us

Since inception, Headlands Research has enrolled over 9,000 patients across all vaccine studies including more than 20 Covid/Covid Booster trials, 10 Influenza studies, 10 RSV studies, and trials for Epstein-Barr, Herpes Zoster, Meningococcal and Pneumococcal.

Trial phases I through III have been conducted. 10 of these vaccine trials have used mRNA vaccines. Out of all the trials that were conducted, numerous have focused primarily on the pediatric patient population (>18 year of age) as well as the elderly patient population (60 years of age and above).

To accomplish this great feat, we have collaborated with all major sponsors, including AstraZeneca, Bavarian Nordic, Janssen, Merck, Moderna, NovaVax, Sanofi Pasteur and Seqirus.

Choosing the correct site is crucial to the success of a clinical trial. At Headlands Research, we focus on ease of study start-up, delivery of the highest quality data, specialty/diverse patient access, and expert patient retention for our CRO and Sponsor partners. Please consider Headlands Research for your next trial.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html

https://www.dignityhealth.org/articles/someone-in-the-house-has-the-flu-how-do-you-stay-healthy