About Influenza

What is influenza?

Influenza is a virus that can be easily passed from one person to another by sneezing, coughing or touching a contaminated surface. People with influenza are contagious the day before symptoms appear and up to 5 days after becoming sick with influenza.

Symptoms of influenza typically include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • muscle aches and pain
  • extreme tiredness/fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • headache

Influenza typically lasts 7-10 days, or longer if you become sick with complications.


How is influenza treated?

Influenza is a virus. Antibiotics will not treat influenza. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. The treatment for influenza includes:

  • rest (no school or work)
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • take medication to treat symptoms, i.e. cough
  • time

Influenza can cause other health problems to become worse. The most common complications from influenza are pneumonia, dehydration and ear infections.


The best ways to prevent influenza are:

  • Get immunized!
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Eat well, exercise, and get a good amount of sleep.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.

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