Information regarding colds

Beat the Winter Bugs:
How to hold your own against colds and flu
by Michelle Meadows, staff writer for FDA Consumer

This time of year presents plenty of opportunities for viruses to spread. Chilly weather keeps more of us indoors at the same time, and the holiday season brings together family members of all ages. Colds and flu (influenza) can occur anytime, but appear mostly in the fall and winter.

For most people, viral respiratory illnesses are usually self-limited and last only a few days. But along with making millions of us feel lousy every year, colds and flu can cause serious problems and can even be deadly. The flu leads to more than 100,000 hospitalizations each year and about 20,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Death rates are highest for people aged 65 and up and for those with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for flu complications. (Also see "Keeping Up with Flu Shots" .)

--M.M.
Publication No. (FDA) 01-9022
School Health Issues
Flu Season and Schools

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