Algoma Public Health
What is it?
- A highly contagious respiratory infection.
- Caused by a virus (changes into different strains each year)
- Occurs most often in the winter months.
- Most serious in the elderly, in people with chronic illnesses, and in those with weak immune systems.
- They may develop pneumonia.
What are the symptoms?
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Cough (severe and lingers)
- Muscle aches/pains
- Extreme weakness
How quickly do symptoms develop?
- Usually within 1-3 days
How is it spread?
- Through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person; e.g. coughing/sneezing.
- Through contact with contaminated surfaces; e.g. hands, tissues.
How long is it contagious?
- 3-5 days from start of symptoms in adults.
- Up to 7 days in young children. During this time your child should not attend school or daycare.
How is it treated?
- Bed rest.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Call your doctor if symptoms do not improve.
- When influenza type A occurs, a prescription drug may be ordered for certain individuals.
- Do not give children aspirin as it increases the risk of Reye Syndrome.
What can you do?
- Wash hands frequently.
- Discard tissues in garbage.
- Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid crowds in enclosed spaces.
Get a flu shot each year; this is the BEST PROTECTION against influenza.
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: June 1, 2015