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Could it be the Flu?
The sooner you find out if you have the flu, the sooner you’ll get better. You’ll also be less likely to spread the flu misery to others.

Flu symptoms

Flu, which is different from a cold, can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu usually comes on suddenly.

People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting. And though fever is a symptom of the flu, it’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Stay home and avoid contact

If you get sick with flu symptoms, you should stay home from work, school, social events and public gatherings so you are less likely to spread the flu to others.

Studies show that prompt treatment with antiviral drugs can prevent serious complications. Prompt treatment can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

The benefit of antiviral treatment is greatest if treatment is started within two days after the onset of illness.

How long?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone – except to get medical care or necessities. Most people who become sick will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people may become more severely ill.

Following flu infection, moderate complications, such as secondary ear and sinus infections, can occur. Pneumonia is a more serious flu complication. Those at higher risk for complications include people who are over 65, children under 2, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions.

Spreading the flu

When infected people cough, sneeze or talk, they can spread influenza viruses in respiratory droplets to people who are nearby. People might also get flu by touching a contaminated surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

So, if you have the flu, stay away from others as much as possible. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or wear a face mask. Wash your hands often.