Flu Season, What You Should Know

Get a flu shot.  The flu vaccine is still the single best way to avoid getting the flu. 

Because influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people, there are things we can do to help prevent its spread.

Take Everyday Actions to Stay Healthy

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • 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.

What Happens if You Get the Flu?

  • Stay home if you get sick. We recommend that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • People with influenza-like illness should remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Call your family physician. The flu is treatable on an outpatient basis.
  • Do not go to the emergency room unless you or your child experience the warning signs listed below.** You will be spreading flu germs to ER patients and health care workers as well as exposing yourself to illnesses the ER patients may have.
  • Stay well hydrated – drink plenty of fluids like water, broth and sports drinks
  • Get plenty of rest

Emergency Warning Signs That Need Urgent Medical Attention:

In Children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Download our Flu Guide for Parents

In Adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough

For more detailed information on the flu click here.