What is Influenza (Flu)?
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
What is Influenza A
There are four types of influenza (flu) viruses: A, B, C and D. Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease (known as flu season) almost every winter. Influenza A viruses are the only influenza viruses known to cause flu pandemics, i.e., global epidemics of flu disease.
Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (tiredness)
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Preventing Seasonal Flu
The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death. CDC also recommends staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing to help slow the spread.
Influenza A symptoms can clear on their own with good rest and lots of fluids. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication to fight the infection.
Local Contact Information
Members that have questions or concerns can call the Peguis Emergency Operations Centre at (204) 645-2869 to request a call back from a Peguis Public Health nurse.