Is it the flu?
The following information outlines symptoms as outlined by the Alberta Health Services. The symptoms of the flu are generally mild, but illness can be severe for some individuals.
- fever (38°C/100.4°F to 40°C/104°F, which can reach 41°C/106°F when symptoms first develop)
- body aches and muscle pain (commonly in the back, arms, or legs)
- dry cough
- sore throat
- runny nose
- pain when you move your eyes
- loss of appetite
You will probably feel tired and less hungry than usual. The symptoms usually are the worst for the first 3 or 4 days. But it can take 1 to 2 weeks to get completely better. It usually takes one to four days to get symptoms of the flu after you have been around someone who has the virus. The flu usually does not cause symptoms in the stomach or intestines, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
If you develop flu-like symptoms STAY HOME! Do not come to work or class and avoid public places until you have recovered. Call Health Link Alberta for advice before visiting a physician’s office, medicentre or accessing an emergency room.
Health Link Alberta: Toll-free 1.866.408.LINK (5465)
Health Link Alberta: In Calgary, call 403.943.LINK (5465)
Practice self care — which means eat well, exercise regularly and get enough rest especially during high stress periods and maintain healthy hygiene practices — including avoiding others, coughing into your sleeve, increased hand washing and rest.
Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if your symptoms are not improving by calling Health Link Alberta.
Did you know?
- When you are sick with the flu you are contagious one day before and up to five days after your symptoms appear. Symptoms include fever, aches, chills and dry cough, fatigue and headache
- In Canada, seasonal influenza results an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths each year.
- The seasonal flu may be fine for you, but could prove to be life threatening for vulnerable populations; the elderly, infants & children, pregnant women and persons with immune-comprised health.
- Getting a flu shot protects you and will not give you the flu
- More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing — so wash hands frequently with soap & water
- The average desk harbours 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat — so keep your personal work environment clean by using cleansing wipes or other household products (avoid using antibacterial products)
The single most effective way to prevent contracting influenza is by washing your hands regularly with warm water and regular soap, especially after you cough or sneeze.
Other tips include:
- When you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash right after you use it, and wash or sanitize your hands right away.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough and sneeze into your upper arm or sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs can spread that way.
- If you get sick, stay home and limit contact with others.
How to stay well
An important aspect to staying well and contributing to preventing getting sick is having a healthy immune system. When immune systems are low or compromised the chances of becoming sick are greater.
Here are some tips for staying well, especially during the flu season:
- Get adequate rest and sleep seven to eight hours a night
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress and practice stress management techniques
- Eat a balanced diet
- Listen to your body