Influenza-like Illness (ILI)
Influenza Symptoms (from the Center for Disease Control)
Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections are three examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.
People at Higher Risk from Flu
Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems from influenza can happen at any age, but some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
To reduce the exposure to your room mates you should:
- Stay as far away from them in your room as possible.
- Wear a mask when up and going out of your room to the bathroom.
- Wash hands frequently (or use hand sanitizer) and every time you touch your nose, mouth, or face or go to the bathroom.
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve at the elbow (or wash your hands if you use a tissue).
- If you live in University Housing, please let your RA/CA know so that they may assist you and those close to you to help reduce transmission.
These recommendations are appropriate for all types of influenza.
You should return to the Health Center or seek urgent care if you have the following symptoms:
- Ear Pain
- Dehydration ,vomiting and unable to keep any liquids down
- Shortness of Breath
- Any other severe pain/symptoms
Treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir is recommended for persons with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at higher risk for complications (children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, persons with certain chronic medical conditions (incl. asthma, cardiac conditions, diabetes, etc.) and immunosuppressive conditions, and persons younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy.
You should get plenty of rest and drink clear liquids (such as water, broth, sports drinks) to stay well hydrated. Tylenol or ibuprofen can be used for fever and muscle aches. Other over-the-counter products are available for congestion and cough.
Thank you for your assistance. Do not hesitate to call us for specific questions.
More information about The flu is available at the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
If you have concerns after-hours, please call our after-hours nurse advice line at 805-756-1211.