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BETHESDA, Md. -- The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has launched a television public service announcement (PSA) campaign to educate Americans about the three steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent influenza: vaccination, good hygiene, and antiviral medications.
The "Don't Let the Flu Close in on You" PSAs are also available online on NFID's Web site (http://www.nfid.org), along with additional educational information about influenza.
Each year, one out of every five Americans will get influenza, a serious and sometimes deadly infection. Vaccination and good hygiene are the most effective ways to prevent influenza, but treatment is available for those who do get sick.
"We don't have to take the flu lying down," said Susan Rehm, MD, medical director of NFID. "We have clear ways to prevent and treat influenza -- including an annual influenza vaccination, practicing good hygiene and taking prescription antivirals, should we get sick. The influenza season can sustain through April or May. Now is the time to understand the symptoms of influenza and take appropriate steps if you do get sick, such as calling the doctor at the first signs of flu."
Don't Let the Flu Close in on You is part of NFID's ongoing campaign to educate people about influenza prevention and treatment. The initiative is made possible through an educational grant from Roche.
Influenza, more commonly referred to as "the flu," is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs. Influenza occurs most often in the late fall, winter and early spring. It is a serious infection which afflicts more than 60 million Americans every year.
Influenza impacts people of all ages. Common symptoms include a high fever (101 degrees F to 102 degrees F) that begins suddenly, sore throat, chills, cough, headache and muscle aches. Influenza frequently causes people to miss school and work but in some cases there are severe complications such as pneumonia. Each year, more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and about 36,000 die from influenza-related complications.
Source: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases