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Flu Information


What is Influenza (Flu)?
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Flu Symptoms

Flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever*
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

 People at High Risk from Flu
Anyone can get flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years.

Preventing Seasonal Flu
The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.

Cold vs Flu

Signs and SymptomsColdInfluenza (Flu)
Symptom onset Gradual Abrupt
Fever Rare Usual; lasts 3-4 days
Aches Slight Usual; often severe
Chills Uncommon Fairly common
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Usual
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can be severe
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Headache Rare Common


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Flu Press Releases3 documents

  • ODH News Release: Flu Hospitalizations Continue to Rise
    document _recordid 848
  • Flu Activity in Ohio Increasing Again After Initial Decline
    document _recordid 572
  • Ohio Reporting First Flu Pediatric Death
    document _recordid 571

Weekly Flu Reports16 documents

  • Flu MMWR Week 12 (3.15.20 - 3.21.20)
    document _recordid 899
  • Flu MMWR Week 10 (3.01.20 - 3.07.20)
    document _recordid 887
  • Flu MMWR Week 9 (2.23.20 - 2.29.20)
    document _recordid 886
  • Flu MMWR Week 8 (2.16.20 - 2.22.20)
    document _recordid 859
  • Flu MMWR Week 7 (2.9.20 - 2.15.20)
    document _recordid 858
  • Flu MMWR Week 6 (2.2.20 - 2.8.20)
    document _recordid 846
  • Flu MMWR Week 5 (1.26.20 - 2.1.20)
    document _recordid 825
  • Flu MMWR Week 4 (1.19.20-1.25.20)
    document _recordid 819
  • Flu MMWR Week 3 (1.12.2020 - 1.18.2020)
    document _recordid 768
  • Flu MMWR Week 2 (1.05.2020 - 1.11.2020)
    document _recordid 764
  • Flu MMWR Week 1 (12.29.2019 - 1.04.2020)
    document _recordid 763
  • Flu MMWR Week 52 (12.22.19 - 12.28.19)
    document _recordid 761
  • Flu MMWR Week 51 (12.15.19 - 12.21.19)
    document _recordid 759
  • Flu MMWR Week 50 (12.08.19 - 12.14.19)
    document _recordid 758
  • Flu MMWR Week 49 (12.01.19 - 12.07.19)
    document _recordid 749
  • Flu MMWR Week 18 (4.28.19 - 5.4.19)
    document _recordid 679

Local Flu News2 documents

  • After Butler County flu death, officials said this season may be worse than normal
    document _recordid 766
  • "Flu Hospitalizations are Spiking in Butler County" - Journal News
    document _recordid 581
    Flu hospitalizations are spiking in Butler County and across Ohio, and health officials are offering suggestions about how to prevent the spread of influenza.