Early indications suggest harsh flu season in US

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It is a virus.

The flu can spread quickly around campus but steps can be taken to help you stay healthy. And it can be deadly. Many people who get influenza may be better in several days up to two weeks. Symptoms vary by age but can include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and a runny or stuffy nose. People with the common cold are more likely to have nasal congestion than people with the flu, though the symptoms can often mimic each other. The phrase "stomach flu" is a phrase we have come to use for a general nausea, vomiting or diarrhea ailment that has nothing to do with the influenza virus.

Influenza can lead to pneumonia and blood infections.

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Treatment of influenza requires drinking lots of water, rest and taking antiviral medicines that can reduce serious complications and deaths, especially for the high-risk groups. People with certain health conditions or weakened immune systems are at greatest risk.

With Influenza season just beginning across much of the USA, health experts are warning the country may not be prepared for a major outbreak of the virus.

Vaccines in the United States this season are created to protect against two A strains (H1N1 and H3N2) and up to two B strains (B/Victoria lineage and B/Yamagata lineage), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last season, 59% of children between the ages of 6 months to 17 years received a flu shot, as did 43.3% of adults 18 years of age and older.

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The warnings come as the CDC began its annual campaign to encourage Americans to get their flu shots before the virus begins spreading during the fall and winter.

For those over 65, it turns out you've got some options when it comes to these important vaccinations. Since, Oman is a semi-tropical country, seasonal flu viruses appear throughout the year. So now is the time to make plans to get flu shots for yourself and your family. There is plenty of vaccine now available at clinics, pharmacies and walk-in clinics, she said. Call ahead to know what your clinic's policy is.

One person has died so far this season from the flu.

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