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Flu (Influenza)

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. The flu is different than a cold.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination every year.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

Reminder: Students are to be kept at home after a fever of 100 F or higher. They can return to school when they have been without a fever and without using a fever reducing medication for 24 hours. If they have diarrhea or vomiting they need can return to school 24 hours after diarrhea or vomiting has stopped.

How flu spreads: Through tiny wet drops produced when a person coughs, sneezes or talks. A person can get the flu by breathing in these wet drops or by touching items and surfaces covered with these drops and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

You can help protect yourself by washing your hands often with soap and water especially after using the restroom. Hand hygiene with soap and water is preferred as alcohol based hand sanitizers have limited effectiveness against the flu. If possible avoid other individuals who have the above symptoms.

There is no specific treatment for the flu. However some things can be done to relieve symptoms:

  • Taking over the counter medications to relieve fever 
  • Drinking liquids to stay hydrated.

Persons who are concerned about their symptoms should contact their health care provider.

More information is available from the Alameda County Public Health Department.