Knowing the Flu and How You Can Protect Yourself

The flu is a virus that typically spreads during the winter season.

What is Influenza or Flu?
The flu is a virus that typically spreads during the winter season and results in cough, runny nose, sore throat, body and muscles aches, headaches, and decreased appetite. Many but not all will also have fever. The symptoms are typically worse in the first 7-10 days and thereafter improve. Flu is usually worse than a regular cold, such that hundreds of thousands may be hospitalized each year in the United States. There are some people who are at risk of flu complications like those who have:

  • Chronic lung disease like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney or Liver disease/disorders
  • Obesity with body mass index of 40 or higher
  • Or are adults 65 years or older
  • Or are pregnant
  • Or are children under the age of 2 years old

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Get yourself vaccinated each season. All persons 6 months and older are eligible and encouraged to get their flu vaccine.  It is the best way to protect yourself.
  • Keep your hands off your face – avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people – including kissing, sharing cuts or eating utensils with people who have cold-like symptoms.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes – by using a tissue or coughing into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces – especially doorknobs and countertops.

What do you do if you get sick?

  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and public areas when you are sick.
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids unless otherwise instructed by your medical provider.
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Use fever reducing/pain reducing medicines as needed following directions on the package.
  • If you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, follow your action plan.
  • If your appetite is affected, try to eat a lighter bland diet like toast, oatmeal, and fruit.
  • If you have questions, you may speak with one of our nurses for advice or schedule a telemedicine or virtual visit with your medical provider at (323) 635-1140. Antiviral medication is a possible treatment option.

What do you do if you get very sick?

  • If you are experiencing a lot of shortness of breath or chest pain or your coloring has changed, then please seek emergency help immediately by calling 911.

For those with Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, LA Care, and Molina, Teladoc is available 24/7 at 1-800-835-2362.

For more information, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site at