Got the flu?

Got the flu?

Signs and Symptoms
Cold
Flu
Fever, chills
Low fever, if any
Usual; can be a high fever
Headache
Rare
Usual
General aches and pains
Mild, if any
Usual; often severe. Affect the body all over
Fatigue, weakness
Mild, if any
Usual; often severe. Makes you want stay in bed
Runny, stuffy nose
Common
Sometimes
Sneezing
Common
Sometimes
Sore throat
Common
Sometimes
Cough
Mild to moderate; hacking cough
Common; can become severe
Onset
Gradual onset, usually starts with a sore scratchy throat and runny nose
Sudden onset, usually starts with a fever, fatigue and general aches and pains
Severity
Minor infection of nose and throat
More severe. Quite ill for 3-5 days but may not fully recover for days or weeks. May lead to pneumonia, bacterial infections or hospitalizations.
When to see a Doctor
If symptoms persist beyond two weeks or if you have an increase in coughing, difficulty breathing, high fever, ear pain, facial pain or chest pain.
If you develop shortness of breath, painful breathing, earaches, pain around your eyes or cheekbones or a severe sore throat. If you seem to get better, then worse again.

If you are feeling symptomatic, follow the relevant self assessment and get the help you need:
    Student Off-Campus Flu Assessment [.pdf]
    Student On-Campus Flu Assessment [.pdf]
    General/Self Flu Assessment [.pdf] 

The Got Flu? channel remains open for students and employees to register any influenza-like illness in 2010.  Login at my.brocku.ca.

What can be done if I or a family member catch the flu?
Since antibiotics are not effective for infections caused by a virus, there is no antibiotic treatment for the flu. There are some anti-viral medications, eg Tamiflu. They are best started within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. Antiviral medication does not eliminate symptoms but can shorten the course of the illness.

  1. Keep well hydrated; clear fluids, including chicken soup and fruit juices, are good. Treat fever with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, not aspirin. Use an anti-nausea medication such as Gravol and an anti-diarrheal such as Imodium, if needed
  2. Provide self care and seek medical attention if you have difficulty breathing or feel confused
  3. Caring for flu in the home: Homecare Guidance