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Flu Cases 'Widespread,' Says Red Cross

Outbreaks are earlier than normal in the area.

The Red Cross reports that there's still time for folks to get flu shots and be covered from what is considered to be a more active flu season. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that flu outbreaks are high for this time of the season, with "widespread activity" in Massachusetts.

How do you prevent the flu?

According to the CDC, in addition to getting the vaccine, you can:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. 
  • How do you know if you have the virus?

    Symptoms include: high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (which is more common in children).

    When should you call the doctor?

    According to the Red Cross, if you think you have the flu, your doctor should be consulted immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen (adults).
  • Confusion or sudden dizziness.
  • Not drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
  • Not waking up, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held or not interacting (children).
  • Fever with a rash (children).
  • No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal (children).
  • Did you get the flu or the flu shot? Tell us in the comments.

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