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Posted on: January 30, 2018

It's Flu Season: Influenza Symptoms versus Cold Symptoms

Man with Flu lying down holding his head.

The Flu season has arrived, and it is expected to be widespread this year.

Influenza, commonly referred to as the Flu, is a serious respiratory infection that can cause hospitalizations and death. According to the CDC, between 3,000 to 49,000 people die annually from seasonal influenza. 

Adults 65 and older, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions are more likely to experience severe symptoms of the Flu. The Flu can lead to severe complications including pneumonia, sinus and ear infections, sepsis, inflammation of the heart and brain, asthma attacks and in some cases death. 

The best defense against the flu is the flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of six months receive a seasonal flu vaccine. The best time to obtain the vaccine is in the early fall. Typically in September or October. Immunity from the vaccine takes approximately two weeks to develop. By receiving the vaccine early in the fall, immunity is present by the time flu season begins.

Besides receiving the flu vaccine, it is important to avoid people who are sick with flu-like symptoms. Stay home from work and school if you have symptoms of the flu. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, and also teach children to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, if soap and water is not available use alcohol hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces and objects frequently. See your doctor and use medications as prescribed.

Influenza Symptoms
Cold Symptoms
Comes on Suddenly
Gradual Onset
Fever
Runny Nose
Cough
Sneezing
Muscle or Body Aches
Watery Eyes
Headaches
Cough
Fatigue
Sore Throat
Sore Throat
Headaches
Runny or Stuffy Nose
Body  Aches
Can Last 1-3 Weeks
Can Last 7-10 Days


Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Influenza (Flu). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/

Additional information regarding Influenza...
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