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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 hand washing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.

Signs and SymptomsColdInfluenza (Flu)Coronavirus COVID-19
Sore throat Common Common Sometimes
Cough Common Common Common
Sneezing Common Sometimes --
Fever -- Common Common
Body aches/chills Mild Common Sometimes
Tiredness Mild Common Sometimes
Headache -- Common Sometimes
Runny/stuffy nose Common Sometimes --
Nausea -- Sometimes --
Shortness of breath -- -- In severe cases
Loss of taste or smell -- -- Sometimes


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Flu Press Releases4 documents

  • Premier Health, CompuNet Announce Sites for Flu Testing, 9.16.20
    document _recordid 1324
  • 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