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Influenza AKA The Flu

City Risk LogoOccupational Health & Infectious Disease

                        Risk Management, Portland, OR                                                            4/23/13


Health Tips - Flu Title

Facts:

    • You cannot catch the flu from getting the flu shot!

    • The flu is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system.
    • Because it is a viral infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics.
    • Influenza, commonly called the flu, is not the same as the stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.
    • The best defense against the flu is to receive an annual vaccination.  

Signs & Symptoms

    • Fever over 100º F
    • Aching muscles
    • Chills & sweats
    • Headache
    • Dry cough
    • Tiredness and weakness
    • Stuffy nose & sore throat 

Prevention

  • Get vaccinated!

  • Wash your hands!

  • Contain coughs and sneezes.

  • Avoid crowds.  

How do you catch the flu?

The flu virus is present in secretions from the body (saliva, mucus, and invisible respiratory droplets). If someone coughs or sneezes into the air, you can inhale the invisible droplets, which deposit the flu virus into your lungs. Other ways of catching the flu are by touching objects that an infected person has touched and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth where their germs (and the virus) can be transferred into your body. 

Treatments

    • Get plenty of rest
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • In some cases, your doctor may prescribe Tamiflu, which is an antiviral medication that can help shorten the duration of the illness.

If you suspect you have the flu, call your doctor. He or she may want to start you on antiviral medications and do a checkup to make sure you do not become dehydrated or suffer from secondary complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.


References

- Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Influenza. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/influenza/DS00081/DSECTION=prevention

- Centers for disease control and prevention. (n.d). Influenza. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu