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About: Seasonal Flu

 • What is it?
 • Symptoms
 • Vaccine Info

What is Seasonal Flu?

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It spreads from person-to-person and can cause mild to severe illness; and in some cases, can lead to death.

In the United States, yearly outbreaks of seasonal flu usually happen during the fall through early spring. Flu viruses can cause illness in people of any age group. Children are most likely to get sick because their immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight off the infection.

Groups likely to include complications from the seasonal flu are:

  • People age 65 and older
  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • People of any age who have chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, lung disease)

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Symptoms

The symptoms for all flu, including H1N1 (Swine) flu, are similar:

Seasonal Flu: H1N1 Flu:

All types of flu can cause:

  • Fever
  • Coughing and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

Same as seasonal flu, but symptoms may be more severe:

  • Fever
  • Coughing and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

In addition to the above symptoms, a number of H1N1 flu cases reported:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Cold or Flu?

Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.

  • Flu and the common cold have similar symptoms (e.g. fever, sore throat). It can be difficult to tell the difference between them.
  • Your doctor can give you a flu test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether you have the flu.
  • In general, the flu is worse than the common cold.
  • Symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense with the flu.
  • Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.
  • Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

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Vaccine Info

Visit the Adult Immunization Coalition of Central Ohio calendar for seasonal vaccine locations and times (Site exit link).

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