What is Influenza?


What is Influenza?

A first step in flu prevention is understanding what influenza is. The influenza or “flu” is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza is spread through droplets that project when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks.

These droplets can land in another person’s mouth or nose or be inhaled into the lungs during person-to-person contact. They can also be transferred to the mouth or nose after touching a surface where these droplets have landed.

Influenza symptoms may include:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle and/or body aches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

comparison chart of covid-19, cold, and flu

What to do if you have symptoms

Because the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 share many symptoms, it’s important to avoid self-diagnosis. Instead, here’s what to do.

Mild to Moderate Symptoms.  Please stay home and get tested. Knowing which illness you have can ensure you receive the right treatment. Once you receive your test results, call your doctor right away so he/she can advise you on next steps.

In the meantime, STAY HOME, drink fluids like water and soup broth, and get plenty of rest. Be sure to closely monitor your symptoms and seek immediate medical help if your symptoms become severe (such as you are struggling to breathe).

Covid-19 Testing Near Me

Free testing is available!

If your symptoms are severe. If you’re experiencing any of these emergency warning signs of flu or of COVID-19, seek immediate help by calling your doctor right away or dialing 9-1-1.

Not sure what to do? Call your family doctor. Your doctor may be able to meet with you via a virtual visit, where your doctor can advise you right from home.

You can also call our free Ask-A-Nurse line at 231-935-0951, available 24 hours a day. A Munson Healthcare registered nurse is on standby, ready to direct you to the right care.

You Can Prevent the Flu

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the best flu prevention is to get a flu shot every year. While the flu shot does not provide 100 percent protection against the influenza virus, studies show that symptoms are not as severe for those who still get sick after they get a flu shot.

Flu Vaccines Near You