What is the Flu?

Influenza, or Flu, is a serious respiratory illness. It is easily spread from person to person and can lead to severe complications, even death. If you think you may have the flu - do not come to work or go to class and expose others.

We ALL are at risk for getting and spreading the flu. Having the flu may keep you home from work or school. If you have asthma or other lung diseases, you are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu.

Each year in the U.S., influenza and its related complications result in an estimated 226,000 hospitalizations and anywhere from around 3,000 to 49,000 deaths.

Flu symptoms

  • are more severe than those of colds.
  • come on abruptly.
  • include high fever, cough, and body and muscle aches.

Flu illness impacts your daily life by

  • leading to school absenteeism.
  • leading to days off from work.
  • leading to complications such as pneumonia requiring hospitalization.
  • affecting all other aspects of normal daily activity.

The Flu Can Be Fatal In ..

  • elderly people;
  • people with chronic diseases; and
  • anyone with a weak immune system.

Many people who become sick with the flu say it is like being hit by a truck. This decrease in quality of life, the shifting nature of the virus, and the danger of life-threatening complications, combine to make the flu a major public health problem.

Catching the Flu

Flu Symptoms In Adults

If a person has a mild case, the flu may seem a lot like an ordinary cold. But more often, symptoms appear suddenly, and may include:

  • temperature of 101°F or above
  • cough
  • muscle ache
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • chills
  • tiredness
  • high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may occur, but are more common in children than adults.

Most people recover from the flu within one or two weeks, but others, especially the elderly, may feel weak for a long time even after other symptoms go away.