FluSymptoms & Prevention

Overview

Is it a cold or the flu? Here’s how to tell.

Colds and flu are both highly contagious. They’re also hard to tell apart, especially when you’re first getting sick.

The good news is it’s possible to prevent the flu by getting a flu shot, washing your hands regularly, and understanding flu symptoms.

This flu season, stay a step ahead of sickness.

  • Use our handy Flu Symptoms Guide to see if your sniffles are a sign of something more serious
  • Prevent the flu by following our 5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Flu Season
  • Share this page with your friends and family so everyone can stay healthy!

Flu Symptoms

Symptom

Cold

Flu*

Fever Rare in adults, up to 102F in small children Usually 102F, but up to 104F and lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Common, can be severe
Muscle aches Mild Common, often severe
Fatigue, weakness Mild Can last 2+ weeks
Extreme exhaustion Never Common early in illness
Runny nose Often Sometimes
Sneezing Often Sometimes
Sore throat Often Sometimes
Cough Mild hacking cough Common, can be severe
Nausea and vomiting Rare Rare

* Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever.

Prevention

5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Flu Season

Flu prevention is all about stopping the spread of germs. Protect yourself and your loved ones by following these 5 simple steps:


#1: Get vaccinated

The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu virus. It's available as a traditional flu shot or hypoallergenic vaccine (Flublok).


#2: Take better care of yourself

During flu season, it's even more important than usual to get plenty of sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly and keep stress levels under control.

All of these things with strengthen your immune system, making it harder for the flu virus to take hold.


#3: Protect yourself from germs

The flu virus is highly contagious and can be easily passed from one person to another by sneezing, coughing, or touching contaminated surfaces.

Protect yourself

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes and nose after being exposed to something contaminated
  • Wash your hands often to help protect yourself from germs

Protect others

  • Stay home from work, school and other activities when you're sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing

#4: Use proper hand washing techniques

Proper hand washing is essential for preventing the flu.

  • Wet your hands with warm, running water
  • Add soap and rub hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds
  • Rinse well under running water
  • Dry thoroughly with a clean disposable towel
  • Use the same towel to turn the faucet off

If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based gel to sanitize your hands.


#5: Understand your symptoms

Use our Flu Symptoms Guide above to help determine whether you have a cold or the flu.


Need relief from the flu?

If you do catch the flu, get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids and avoid using alcohol and tobacco. Talk with your doctor or an Aurora pharmacist about medication and flu-relief products* to relieve fever, cough, body aches and other flu symptoms.

* Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever.

Find a Location

Get your flu shot at an Aurora location near you.

View Flu FAQs

Our clear, informative FAQs have the answers you need to protect yourself and your family this flu season.

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