What You Need to Know About the Flu
Flu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different influenza viruses. Flu can cause a range of symptoms and effects, from mild to lethal.
Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications.
Extensive efforts are underway to track and monitor the spread of all flu viruses. In the U.S., epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working with states to collect, compile and analyze reports of flu outbreaks.
Influenza, also known as the flu, is an illness that causes fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion and body aches. It is usually spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing. Flu season in Ohio can begin as early as October and run as late as May.
Influenza is different from the common cold. It usually begins suddenly and can put you in bed for a number of days. Most people who get influenza will recover in one to two weeks, but some people can develop very serious illnesses such as pneumonia, be hospitalized or die. Very young children, people age 65 years and older and people with chronic medical problems are most at risk of serious illness.
The best way to protect yourself is to get a vaccination.
Pandemic flu occurs when a new influenza virus appears or emerges in the human population and causes a global outbreak of the disease, resulting in serious illness as it spreads from person to person. Influenza pandemics have occurred naturally throughout history.
Pandemics are unpredictable and it is hard to know when one will occur, what type of flu it will be and how severe it will be. Pandemics can occur anytime, symptoms may be more severe and complications more frequent than seen with seasonal flu. A flu pandemic could disrupt some parts of daily life, and limit the amount of health care and other services available. Gatherings of people might be limited to control the spread of the disease (schools and businesses may close, sporting events could be cancelled and transportation could be limited). Additionally, hospitals could be overloaded if doctors and nurses are sick. There also may be more people with the flu than hospitals can treat. In this case, some people would need to be cared for in their homes or other places.
What You Can Do planning booklet
Household Preparedness A-Z
Seasonal Flu vs. Pandemic Flu
Establish Healthy Habits Now to Prevent Flu and Other Illness
Ohio's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan
More Planning Information and Fact Sheets
H1N1 Flu and You
Seasonal and H1N1 Flu: a Guide for Parents
CDC Says "Take 3" Steps to Fight the Flu
24-hour Info Hotline During Emergencies: 866.906.2727