Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is an illness that is caused by contracting one of the influenza viruses. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is spread by coughing, sneezing, and touching things with contaminated hands and leaving germs behind. They symptoms of the flu can range from mild to severe. The worst case is even death.

Anybody can catch the flu. However, the people who are most susceptible to severe reactions or symptoms are those who tend to have compromised or developing immune systems such as children, elderly, or others with certain health risks.

Individuals who are affected by an influenza virus may experience any or all of the symptoms noted below:

  • Sore Throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body Aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and Sluggishness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Vomiting and Diarrhea tends to be associated with the more severe cases and occurs most often with children.

There are people groups that need special attention and different care when affected by the flu.  If you fall into one of these groups and are experiencing the flu it is important to seek additional care and insights.  These special conditions or populations include:

  • Diabetics
  • Asthma
  • Cancer Survivors
  • Pregnancy

Here are some resources to help you address your influenza questions and concerns:

Center for Disease Control: An series of articles that provide education on influenza.

World Health Organization: Educational information that helps address questions related to the flue