Influenza affects your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs — rather than your intestines.

■ Prevention and self-care for influenza

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu shot for women who will be beyond their first trimester of pregnancy during the flu season (October to April). Talk with your health care provider about whether that applies to you.

In addition, it's important to wash your hands often, especially before touching your eyes or mouth. Use soap and warm water to wash all skin surfaces, rubbing vigorously for 15 to 30 seconds. Encourage those around you to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze.

If you think you have influenza, talk with your health care provider. Drink plenty of fluids so that you stay hydrated.

■ Medical care for influenza

Seek medical care if you have signs of dehydration (see also Dehydration after stomach flu).

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