Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system.  The flu is a sudden and sometimes deadly virus. This virus is airborne and is spread by a cough, a sneeze, talking to someone infected, or touching an infected surface. A person is most contagious within the first 3-4 days of contraction. To help prevent the spread of the flu it is important to always wash your hands, contain your coughs and sneezes, avoid crowds when sick, and get your seasonal flu vaccine.

Commons Symptoms                     Alarming Symptoms

Sore throat                                                                                 Difficulty breathing

Fatigue and weakness.                                                             Bluish skin color

Fever over 100.4 F                                                                    Pain or pressure in the chest

Headache                                                                                    Fever with a rash

Aching muscles                                                                           Confusion

Fatigue                                                                                         Severe or persistent vomiting

Dry cough                                                                                    Not waking up or interacting

Chills and sweats

Influenza virus is constantly and rapidly changing. If you had the flu in the past you are protected from that strand. Once exposed to influenza your body makes antibodies to fight that particular strand in the future, but that does not protect you from the many strands out there. It is very important to get the flu shot yearly to help protect your from the most prominent strand

Complications                                            Risk Factors

Pneumonia                                                                                  Age (<5 and >65 years old)

Inflammation of the heart or brain                                        Weakened immune system

Sinus and ear infection                                                             Chronic illness

Bronchitis                                                                                    Pregnancy

Respiratory or kidney failure                                                  Obesity (BMI of 40 or higher)

Sepsis                                                                                          Living or working conditions

Treatment                                                  vaccinations

Plenty of rest                                                                            high dose injection (ages 65 and older)

Plenty of fluids                                                                        injection (ages 6 months and older)

Take pain relievers for muscle aches                                  Live/nasal (ages 2-49)

Tamiflu by mouth (if caught early)                                     Quadrivalent influenza (ages 3 and older)

Relenza inhalation (if caught early)                                      Intradermal influenza (ages 18-64)

Jet injector (ages 18-64)

Cell-based (ages 18 and older)

Adjuvanted (ages 18 and older)