version) for printing.
(flu) is a very contagious viral infection of the nose, throat,
bronchial tubes, and lungs. There are two main types of influenza
virus: A and B. Each type includes many different strains which
tend to change each year.
are the symptoms of influenza?
symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache,
stuffy or runny nose, cough sore throat and general weakness.
These symptoms usually appear one to five days after a person
is exposed to the virus.
is influenza transmitted?
is spread through contact with droplets from the nose and throat
of an infected person during coughing and sneezing.
and how long is a person able to spread influenza?
contagious period varies, but probably begins the day before symptoms
appear and lasts for about a week.
influenza be dangerous?
Although most people recover from the disease within one week,
some have life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and
may need to be hospitalized. Approximately 20,000 people die each
year in the United States from influenza or related complications.
influenza be prevented?
The best means of preventing influenza is by immunization. Because
the types and strains of viruses that cause influenza change often,
an influenza vaccination should be received every year. Some people
who have been exposed to influenza may be prescribed an anti-viral
medication to prevent or reduce the severity of illness.
should be vaccinated?
following groups are at increased risk for serious illness and
should receive vaccine:
people 50 years of age and older;
and children with long-term heart or lung problems, including
of nursing homes and other facilities housing patients of
any age who have serious long-term health problems;
who have kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, anemia,
cancer or immunological disorders and other medical conditions
for which they are under the close supervision of a doctor,
including people with HIV inflection;
aged 6 months to 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy and,
therefore, might be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after
influenza infection; and
who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy
during the influenza season.
who should receive the vaccine include household contacts of high
risk people and health care workers who provide care to high-risk
should NOT be vaccinated?
following groups should not be vaccinated without first consulting
who are allergic to eggs;
who have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose
of influenza vaccine;
who previously developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
after receiving influenza vaccine;
with a moderate to severe acute illness should not be vaccinated
until their symptoms have decreased.
is influenza treated?
taken within 2 days of illness onset, prescription anti-viral
drugs can reduce the duration of uncomplicated influenza. There
are four licensed anti-viral drugs available in the United States:
amantadine and rimantadine for treatment and prevention of type
A influenza, and oseltamivir and zanamivir for treatment of types
A and B influenza. Oseltamivir is currently the only anti-viral
drug approved for both treatment and prevention of types A and
can I get more information?
private health care providers;
local public health departments; and
Utah Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology (801) 538-6191
Department of Health
Office of Epidemiology