Influenza, more commonly known as the “flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can be mild or severe. Most people will have mild illness and will not need medical care and will recover in less than two weeks.
Serious outcomes of the flu can result in hospitalization or even death. Some people are more susceptible to complications of the flu, including the elderly, young children, those with compromised immune systems, and people with certain health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
This report provides a detailed summary of technical surveillance data.
The best way to protect yourself from the flu is with a flu vaccination. The vaccine this year protects against the most common strains of the virus, including H1N1, which caused a pandemic in 2009.
Children six months of age or olderwho are uninsured oron Medicaid and uninsured adults can receive free flu shots. For an appointment, call 512-972-5520.
Other behaviors that will help stop the spread of the flu are:
Stay home if you are sick
Avoid touching your face - your mouth, nose, and eyes
Wash your hands frequently
Avoid others who are sick
Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or into a tissue
Signs and Symptoms of the Flu
Fever or chills
Cough, sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
How Flu Spreads
You can be contagious from one day before and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. It is spread through the air, from coughing and sneezing, or by hand, touching something that someone with the virus has touched.
Treatment of the Flu
Use over-the-county medications like ibuprofen or cough syrup to relieve symptoms. Rest in bed and drink lots of fluids. If you contact your doctor within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, you may be able to take an anti-viral drug, which will reduce the severity of symptoms and length of the illness.
Emergency Warning Signs
Get immediate medical attention if a child has trouble breathing, has bluish skin color, is not waking up or interacting. Get immediate medical attention if an adult has difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, has sudden dizziness or confusion, is severely or persistently vomiting, or improves but then gets worse.