Influenza (also known as "flu") is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Every year, millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from influenza. The flu can cause mild to severe illness. Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) because of flu, some of which can be life threatening and result in death.
What are common symptoms of the flu?
The Flu is different from a cold. The Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (tiredness)
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
What should I do if I have the flu?
- If you get very sick, are pregnant, or are 65 years or older, or are otherwise high risk, call your healthcare provider. You might need antiviral drugs to treat flu.
- Stay at home and rest.
- Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won’t make them sick.
- Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration).
Ways to Prevent the Flu
- Get an annual flu shot. Everyone 6 months & older should get a yearly flu vaccine every season with rare exception.
- Prioritize rest & good nutrition. Getting a good amount of sleep and eating well-balanced meals help to support a strong immune system.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your face. Touching your eyes, nose and mouth causes germs to spread.
- Cover coughs & sneezes. Use a tissue, or the inside of your elbow, when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean & disinfect surfaces and objects. Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often to reduce germs that can spread flu.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are ill, stay home. For flu, CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine.
Flu shots in Tama County:
108 2nd Ave.
500 2nd St.
Gladbrook Family Pharmacy
307 2nd St.
Hy-Vee Dollar Fresh
1006 South County Rd.
Flu shots are also available through your primary care provider.
- Flu Vaccine Fact Sheet
- Seniors Vaccination Fact Sheet
- Preventative Actions to Fight the Flu
- Iowa Flu Reports