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If You're Sick

If you’re sick, stay home! The majority of flu illness can be treated at home. However, if symptoms become more severe, you are pregnant or you have an underlying chronic medical condition, seek medical attention immediately.

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During your illness, stay away from those who may become ill easily or who are at high risk for complications from flu; cover coughs and sneezes; and wash your hands often.

Do not give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) to children or teenagers who have the flu; this can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye Syndrome.

Drink clear fluids such as water, broth or sports drinks. There are also electrolyte beverages made for infants to prevent them from becoming dehydrated.

Get plenty of rest.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home for 24 hours after fever is gone without using fever-reducing medication.

 


Symptoms

Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people report diarrhea and vomiting; these symptoms have been more common in children. The common cold does not normally have fever or severe illness associated with it.

 

When to Seek Medical Care

When exhibiting flu symptoms, stay home from work or keep children home from school or child care.

If symptoms become more severe, you are pregnant or you have an underlying chronic medical condition, seek medical attention immediately.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • flukidwithdocFast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

 

 

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough