What is flu?
What are the symptoms of flu?
How is flu spread?
Is there a treatment for flu?
How can I protect myself and my family from the flu?
What is Avian H7N9 Influenza?
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by either influenza A or influenza B viruses. Flu can cause mild to severe illness and can be fatal. The flu is usually a seasonal illness that is most commonly seen in the Fall and Winter months in Wisconsin.
People who have the flu may often feel some or all of the symptoms listed below:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (feeling very tired)
- Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea (these symptoms are more common in children)
Flu is spread by the droplets that are produced when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in another person's nose or mouth who are within close distances and spread the flu. Flu can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has these droplets on them and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
There is no treatment for the flu. Some antiviral drugs are available that may reduce the severity of illness after a person has the flu. These antiviral drugs should be taken within 48 hours of feeling ill and require a prescription from your primary health care provider. Otherwise, bed rest, drinking lots of liquids and taking pain relievers to help reduce the discomfort of illiness is recommended. Children should NOT be treated with aspirin due to the risk of developing Reye's syndrome.
The single best way to protect yourself and your family is to get an annual flu shot. For more information on flu shots, click here.
You can also protect yourself and your family by washing your hands frequently, and always using a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze. Click here to learn about proper handwashing technique and cough eitquette (Spanish) (Hmong)
Influenza A H7N9 viruses are a subgroup of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. Recently in China there have been reports of human infections for the first time from these viruses. However, there is no evidence to date that H7N9 can be transmitted human-to-human, and there have been no reported cases in the United States. Any time a new influenza subtype is discovered in humans it is a public health concern. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely. For more information, and new developments, click here.