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 , are at high risk of serious flu complications.
In Montana, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. The peak season is usually from late November through March.
The best way to prevent flu is by getting each year. Tribal Health patients can walk-in for a flu shot at the following Health Centers in Arlee, St. Ignatius, Ronan, SKC, Polson, Elmo and Hot Springs. Patients can also make an appointment for a flu shot, or request one during other regularly scheduled appointments. Additionally, same day flu tests are available at any Tribal Health Center.
Flu viruses infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
• fever (note that not everyone with flu will have a fever)
• sore throat
• runny or stuffy nose
• body aches
• sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
How Flu Spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
Period of Contagiousness
You may be able to pass on flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
• People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins.
• Some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
• Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.
Onset of Symptoms
The time from when a person is exposed and infected with flu to when symptoms begin is about 2 days, but can range from about 1 to 4 days.
Complications of Flu
People at High Risk from Flu
Preventing Seasonal Flu