Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the influenza virus. Compared with most viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, influenza infection often causes a more severe illness. Typical influenza illness includes fever (usually 100 degrees F to 103 degrees F in adults and often even higher in children) and respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, as well as headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Although nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can sometimes accompany influenza infection, especially in children, these symptoms are rarely the primary symptoms. The term "stomach flu" is a misnomer that is sometimes used to describe gastrointestinal illnesses caused by organisms other than influenza viruses.
Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. Over the past decade, influenza and pneumonia have been associated with an average of 3,500 deaths a year in Illinois.
For more information about how the flu affects seniors and other high-risk groups, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/index.htm
For more information about the flu vaccine and how it can protect you and your family from illness, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm
For more information on how to protect yourself from influenza during the busy travel season, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school-business/travelersfacts.htm