Influenza is an illness that is spread when respiratory droplets land on surfaces that are touched by others.
Symptoms of the flu can vary in severity. People who have been infected with the virus report fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches chills and fatigue. Some people also report vomiting and diarrhea.
Milder cases won’t usually require medical attention. Severe infections can require hospitalizations and cause death.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FLU
Is it contagious?
Yes. A person can become infected by being exposed to the germs from a person infected with the virus.
How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider can swab the inside of your nose and have it sent to a lab for testing.
What is the treatment?
Call your doctor first and ask for any specific instructions or treatment that may be appropriate for you.
What if I’m not experiencing any symptoms?
Some infected people will show no symptoms. You should still practice good prevention habits daily to avoid the spread of germs.
Download DCHHS’ flu prevention materials by clicking on the links below.
FOR MEDICAL PROVIDERS
DCHHS’ most recent influenza surveillance report
Download DCHHS’ clinical decision algorithm to assist with testing, treatment and prophylaxis of patients with symptoms of influenza. The CDC's 2010-2011 summary of flu antiviral medications is included.