Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory virus. The flu season this year is predicted to be severe and seems to be peaking earlier than past years. Flu season starts in October and ends in March. CDC recommends yearly flu vaccination. While the flu vaccine might not as effective as past years it is still extremely important to receive the flu vaccine. Student Health Services has the flu shot available.
Symptoms of the Flu
- Fever or feeling of feverish/chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Diarrhea or vomiting
It can be difficult to distinguish between a common cold and the flu. The flu typically comes on suddenly (within 3-6 hours) while cold symptoms develop gradually. The chart below helps differentiate between the two.
Flu vs Common Cold
|Signs and Symptoms||Influenza||Cold|
|Aches||Usual, often severe||Slight|
|Fatigue/Weakness||Moderate to severe||Mild|
|Chest discomfort||Common; can be severe||Mild to moderate|
|Cough||Dry, unproductive||Hacking, productive|
Take Steps to Prevent the Spread of Germs
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
- Wash your hands often with soap & water. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap & water are not available.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash.
What to do if you get sick and think you might have the flu:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may help with the aches and fever.
- For certain individual's antiviral drugs may help. Talk to your health care provider.
If you are feeling sick and suspect you may have the Flu please come to Student Health Services or your medical provider for evaluation.