Fight the flu
- Get plenty of rest, physical activity and eat healthy.
- Stay home from school or work if you have a respiratory infection. Avoid exposing yourself to others who are sick with flu-like symptoms.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
When to seek care
Most people can fight the flu at home with rest and fluids. If you are in a group at high risk for complications and you become sick with the flu virus, you should contact your health care provider early on so that you can be given antiviral medication if needed. Contact your health care provider if your symptoms worsen.
Frequently asked questions
Will I get sick from the flu shot?
No. The flu shot will not cause the flu itself. Reports of mild reactions to the flu shot however are not uncommon. These side effects include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site. Other reactions may include a low-grade fever, headache and body aches. Side effects typically appear soon after receiving the flu shot and last 1-2 days.
Do I need a flu shot if I am healthy?
The flu vaccine isn't like other vaccines with longer-lasting protection. Even if you had a flu shot last season, you will need a flu shot each year to be protected. Flu viruses are unpredictable, and every season puts you at risk.
Anyone can become sick with the flu and experience serious complications. Seniors, babies, pregnant women and people with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease are at especially high risk from the flu. However, kids, teens and adults who are active and healthy also can get the flu and become very ill from it.
How does the flu shot work?
The flu shot causes antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after receiving the vaccine. These antibodies will provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.
Is it ever too late in the season to get a flu shot?
Flu seasons are unpredictable. They can begin early in the fall and last late into the spring. As long as flu season isn't over, it's not too late to get vaccinated, even during the winter.
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family. If you missed getting your flu vaccine in the fall, get your flu vaccine now for protection all season long.
Is it a cold or the flu?
|Signs and symptoms||Influenza||Cold|
|Fever||Temperature of 100° F and above, lasting 3-4 days||None or a temperature of less than 100° F|
|Cough||Dry, sometimes severe||Hacking|
|Muscle pain||Usual, often severe||Uncommon or mild|
|Tiredness and weakness||Lasting 2-3 weeks||Very mild and brief|
|Extreme exhaustion||Early and prominent||Never|
|Chest discomfort||Common||Uncommon or mild|