Flu, cold, allergies: How to tell what's keeping you down

CDC - It seems here locally at least one school a week is being shut down to illness. Is it bad allergies, the flu or something else? Here to help us figure it out and also to feel better is Dr. Kemp, Chief of staff elect at Christus Health. 

Influenza

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

The upcoming season's flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine.

Allergies

Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to substances that generally do not affect other individuals. These substances, or allergens, can cause sneezing, coughing, and itching. Allergic reactions range from merely bothersome to life-threatening. Some allergies are seasonal, like hay fever. Allergies have also been associated with chronic conditions like sinusitis and asthma.

For more information on the flu or allergies visit: https://www.cdc.gov/

 


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