Algoma Public Health


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Influenza (commonly known as "the flu") is a serious, acute respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. People who get influenza may have a fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue. The cough and fatigue can persist for several weeks, making the return to full personal and work activities difficult.


People of any age can get the flu. Illness due to influenza usually lasts two to seven days; sometimes longer in the elderly and in people with chronic diseases. Most people who get influenza are ill for only a few days. However, some people can become very ill, possibly developing complications and requiring hospitalization.


Call for your free flu shot:
705-541-2332 (Sault Ste. Marie)

1-800-469-2449 (Toll Free Algoma)





Influenza : Is it a Cold or the Flu?
You're not feeling well. Your nose is running and you're sneezing. Your whole body aches- it must be a cold, right? On second thought, you also have a fever and a sore throat. Maybe it's the flu. The common cold and influenza (flu) symptoms are often very similar. Check the chart below to help you determine if your symptoms are a simple cold, or the flu.


 Symptom  Cold  Flu
 Fever  Rare  Usual; high fever (102* F/39 * C - 104 * F, 40 * C), sudden onset, lasts 3 to 4 days. Note: the elderly and people who are immunocompromised may not develop a fever.
 Headache   Rare  Usual; can be sudden
 Muscle aches and pain  Sometimes; generally mild  Usual; often severe
Tiredness and Weakness Sometimes; generally mild Usual; early onset, can be severe
 Extreme tiredness  Unusual  Usual; early onset, can be severe
 Runny, stuffy nose  Common  Common
 Sneezing  Common  Sometimes
 Sore Throat  Common  Common
 Chest discomfort, coughing  Sometimes, mild to moderate  Common; can be moderate to severe.  Cough may last for weeks
 Complications  Can lead to sinus congestion or infection,  and ear aches.  Can lead to pneumonia and respiratory  failure, and become life-threatening. Can  worsen a chronic condition
How it Spreads
Kids and the Flu


Date of Creation: June 1, 2015

Last Modified: June 1, 2015