Are You Ready for Flu Season?


Yes. In fact, you may be able to pass the flu to someone else before you know you’re sick. Healthy adults are able to infect others beginning one day prior to developing symptoms and for 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.


The flu virus is spread by droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. If these droplets land on another person’s mucous membranes of the nose, mouth or eyes, they may become infected with the influenza virus. Less often, a person may contract influenza by touching a surface or object that has the influenza virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

Avoid spreading influenza by staying away from others as much as possible if sick, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, washing your hands with soap and water and/or using alcohol-based hand rubs, do not share eating utensils. In addition, the CDC recommends that you stay at home for 24 hours after your fever is gone.


Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus. Symptoms of the flu include fever, or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body or muscle aches, headaches, fatigue. Some patients may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults. However, not everyone with influenza will have a fever.


Because the symptoms are so similar, a special test may be needed to distinguish the difference. The flu and the common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. The symptoms caused by both are similar and can make it difficult to tell them apart. Fever, body aches, fatigue and dry cough associated with influenza are much more intense. Colds are milder and more likely to cause symptoms of a runny or stuffy nose.  The common cold occurs year-round while influenza outbreaks are more seasonal, generally in winter. The CDC has tracked influenza activity rates by month for the past 35 years, with the peak month for flu outbreaks being February followed by January, then March and December. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Related Content

Find a Doctor or Make an Appointment

Our new search tool will help you choose a doctor or health care provider that is best for you or your family.

Search Now

Palliative Care: Helping Patients Live Their Best Lives

Lynn’s husband Steve was diabetic and diagnosed with end stage renal disease 11 years ago. Without warning, Steve’s condition turned critical three years ago. Desperate for guidance and strength, Lynn was connected to April and the Palliative Care team at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Surgical Home

Learn how the surgical home model, comprehensive approach that looks at all the factors affecting a surgery patient’s recovery, including nutrition, exercise and other health concerns both before and after surgery, is improving outcomes for patients.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery helped Pastor Cliff Woodman get back to the pulpit faster. 

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Bring down the swelling (and your stress).

Lymphedema is a type of chronic swelling that can occur if there is damage to the lymphatic system or if the lymphatic system becomes overloaded by excess fluid due to infection or other medical issues, such as surgery, radiation or trauma to the lymph vessels. 

As the first and only National Lymphedema Network  Affiliate Treatment Center in the St. Louis area, find out how the Center for Outpatient Therapy and Wellness can help.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Dedicated to Women

The redesigned Women’s Outpatient Center at Missouri Baptist offers a warm, welcoming environment with seven dedicated patient bays, a central nurses station and two operating rooms.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right

Racing the Clock: Treating Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer affects an estimated 38,000 people each year in the United States. The best results with treatment are achieved when surgery is used for removal of the tumor.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_right