Is it a cold or is it the flu?
There is effective treatment for the flu, BUT… you have to get treatment
If you think you have the flu, come to Campus Health Services or
call 966-2281 for an appointment within 48 hours of onset of symptoms because
the antiviral flu medications are not as effective if begun later than 48
hours. Untreated, symptoms of the flu can last up to 7 days, usually at least 3
to 5 days. Treatment helps you feel better faster.
What is the Flu?
- The flu
(or influenza) is a respiratory illness caused by airborne viruses, spread from
person to person by droplets from coughing or sneezing. The incubation period
is 1 to 4 days; the contagious period is 3 to 5 days from onset of symptoms.
flu" is a misnomer as there are no respiratory symptoms. Nausea, vomiting
and diarrhea without the fever, cough, aching and respiratory symptoms is
actually a gastroenteritis, but is often called the “stomach flu”. It is caused
by other microorganisms and has no relationship to true influenza.
It is Best to Prevent the Flu
following good health habits should be followed for flu prevention:
your hands frequently with soap and water.
touching your nose and eyes as much as possible.
- If you
have a cold or the flu, sneeze or cough into a facial tissue, and promptly
throw it away and wash your hands.
possible, avoid close, prolonged exposure to persons who have colds.
environmental surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant frequently.
enough sleep, drink 4 to 8 glasses of fluids each day, eat a balanced diet,
exercise, and avoid stress.
best to get the flu vaccine every year. In 2004-2005, however, a national
flu vaccine shortage has restricted vaccine availability to the priority groups
children aged 6-23 months
aged 65 years and older
aged 2-64 with underlying chronic medical conditions
women who will be pregnant during the flu season
of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
aged 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy
workers involved in direct patient care
caregivers and household contacts of children <6 months ol
For more information visit the Centers for Disease
Control National Immunization Program Flu Home Page.
Chart adapted from Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs, 11th Ed. 1993, AphA
References: Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, 39th Edition, 2000;
Control of Communicable Diseases Manual 16th Edition, 1995; Centers for Disease
Control. Available URL: www.cdc.gov/flu.