(Updated January 2012)
Flu season in the United States runs from October through May, usually peaking in the winter months. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include the following:
- Sore throat
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Muscle/body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. You should also avoid contact with those who have flu-like symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that those who have flu symptoms stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (the fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
To prevent the spread of germs, you should do the following:
- Stay HOME and do not participate in Scouting activities if you are sick or have a fever.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Practice good health habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
For more information on the flu, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.