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It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States, on average:
Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), are at high risk for serious flu complications.
Different viruses cause the cold and flu. The two sicknesses share symptoms, but flu is more severe.
|General aches and pains||Slight||Usual, often intense|
|Fatigue and weakness||Very mild||Common. can last 2–3 weeks|
|Extreme exhaustion||Never||Early and prominent|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Mild||Common, can get severe|
Runny or stuffy nose
Stomach symptoms (more common in children than adults)
Complications of flu can include:
Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza.
Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick.
That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
Take time to get a flu vaccine each year.
Take everyday preventive actions.
Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them. (They are not a substitute for vaccination.)
Sources: OSU Student Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.