Influenza (Flu)

Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease that can be serious. We encourage you to take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of flu viruses!

Avoid close contact with sick people, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often (with soap and water), and clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu viruses.

If you become sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. Remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw tissues in the trash after you use them. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine before resuming normal activities.)

According to the CDC, the following demonstrate the differences between the cold and the flu (influenza):

Signs and Symptoms Influenza    Cold
   Symptom Onset    Abrupt    Gradual
   Fever    Usual; lasts 3-4 days    Rare
   Aches    Usual; often severe    Slight
   Chills    Fairly common    Uncommon
   Fatigue, weakness    Usual    Sometimes
   Sneezing    Sometimes    Common
   Stuffy nose    Sometimes    Common
   Sore throat    Sometimes    Common
   Chest discomfort, cough    Common, can be severe    Mild to moderate; hacking cough
   Headache    Common    Rare