Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.What is influenza (also called flu)?
The upcoming season's flu vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Signs and symptoms of flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How flu spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
Vaccinations on UM-Flint Campus
Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu. If you have not already received a flu shot, health authorities encourage you to get one although it is always best to check with your personal health care provider first.
On campus, shots are available for all students, faculty, and staff at the Urban Health and Wellness Center in the William S. White Building. The cost is $25, or if you are covered under the Genesee Health plan, the shot is free. Please schedule an appointment by calling 810-424-5269 or walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday from 9am-11am and 1:30pm-3:30pm.
If you are off campus and would like to get a shot, please contact your health care provider, your local county health department, or visit a nearby pharmacy.
Additional Resources - These are links to county, state and national health agencies’ web sites with useful information for understanding influenza as well as staying healthy
Genesee County Health Department
Michigan Department of Community Health Influenza Update and Related Links
US Dept. Health & Human Services Flu Resources
National Safety Council (NSC) Emergency Preparedness
UM Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH)