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SYMPTOMSCOLDFLU
FeverRareHigh Temperature (101 - 104) Sudden Onset
HeadacheRareCommon
Body Aches and Joint PainsSlightUsual Often Severe
Fatigue and WeaknessMildUsual can last up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme ExhaustionNeverUsual
Nasal CongestionCommonSometimes
SneezingUsualSometimes
Sore ThroatCommonSometimes
Chest Discomfort, CoughMild to Moderate; hacking type coughYes...Often Quite Severe
Loss of AppetiteNoYes
SUMMARY OF TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR THE FLU   
OptionsHelps Prevent FluTreats the Flu VirusEases Flu Symptoms
Antiviral Medications***
Vaccines*  
Over the Counter Medications  *
Antibiotics   

 

The Flu
In ancient times, Italian astrologers thought that the flu came from an influence of the heavenly bodies.  Therefore, they named the sickness with their work “influenza”.  Today, it is known that a virus causes the illness.  A protein shell surrounds the three types of viruses that cause the flu.  Each year it changes its outer shell so it can not be recognized or attacked by the antibodies from the previous flu type.  That is why a new flu vaccine must be developed each year.

Transmission:
The flu is spread by droplets expelled when you talk, sneeze, or cough.

Symptoms:
Flu symptoms vary.  They have a SUDDEN onset.  Any of the following can be present:

• Muscle aches  
• Headache
• Fever
• Chills
• Joint pains
• Weakness
• Decreased appetite
• Fatigue
• Dry cough
Any combination or symptoms can be experienced for up to 7 to 10 days.  The most common combination leading to presumptive flu diagnosis is fever, cough, muscle aches and fever over a 100.4.

Treatments:
• Fever and Body aches: Advil or Acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Do not take Aspirin because it increases the chance of Reye’s syndrome.
• Cough with mucus:  Expectorant (Robitussin DM)
• Dry Cough:  Dextromethorphan (Robitussin)

General Tips
• Rest!
• Drink increased fluids (water, tea and juice)
• Use a vaporizer
• Contact your Health Care Provider within the first 24 to 48 hours if you experience flu symptoms  There are anti-viral medications that can be prescribed within the first 48 hours that will decrease the severity of the flu symptoms.  If symptoms suddenly worsen contact the Student Health Service to be evaluated for possible complications, i.e. pneumonia.

Prevention:
1. Wash your hand frequently.
2. Keep in good health: Get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, exercise and avoid smoking
3. Disinfect hard surfaces: i.e. computer key boards, door knobs and phones
4. Control stress
5. Ask your health care provider about the flu vaccine