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STUDENT HEALTH CENTER

Healthy You @ RSU » Archives
October 2009

How do I know if I have the flu?

Photo of woman with fluYou may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever *
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal flu.

However, some people are more likely to get flu complications and they should talk to a health care provider about whether they need to be examined if they get flu symptoms this season. They are:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have:
    • Cancer
    • Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
    • Chronic lung disease [including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • Neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord)
    • Neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis)
    • Weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS)

Also, it’s possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu so anyone concerned about their illness should consult a health care provider.

There are emergency warning signs. Anyone who has them should get medical care right away.

What are the emergency warning signs?

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

For more information:  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm