According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) flu activity is currently low in the United States, but is expected to increase in the coming weeks. Whether you already have the flu or want to protect yourself against it, Hallmark Health System (HHS) can help you and your family.

“It is important that individuals get vaccinated early so they can protect themselves against the flu,” said Thomas Byrne, MD, medical director at Hallmark Health Medical Associates (HHMA). “Every year our physicians’ offices see countless patients with the flu. We recommend anyone who thinks they have the flu to stay home if they can to help prevent the spread of the flu to friends, family and co-workers.”

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
* Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
* Cough
* Sore throat
* Runny or stuffy nose
* Muscle or body aches
* Headaches
* Fatigue
* Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
* It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

If you are looking for a physician, HHMA has more than 70 providers in nine local communities including Malden, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham and Winthrop. For more information or to search for a physician, visit hhma.org.

For more information about HHS, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.

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