Doylestown Hospital
595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System
Directions & Parking Nav Spacer Contact Us Nav Spacer Community Benefits Nav Spacer Donate Online Nav Spacer Bill Pay Online Nav Spacer Access Medical Records
Home
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
PrintEmail
Respiratory Etiquette
Emergency Websites


Influenza (Flu)


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.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for "universal" flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

For more information on the flu please click here to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)website.

 


Influenza Symptoms

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
Cough
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Headaches
Fatigue (tiredness)
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.

Flu Complications

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than 2 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.

If anyone in your family has flu-like symptoms, you should first call your family doctor.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care:

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

    -    Fast breathing or trouble breathing
    -    Bluish skin color
    -    Not drinking enough fluids
    -    Not waking up or not interacting
    -    Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
    -    Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and
         worse cough
 

In adults emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

    -    Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    -    Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    -    Sudden dizziness
    -    Confusion
    -    Severe or persistent vomiting
    -    Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and
         worse cough

  

Additional information is available on the Internet at:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's web site at  http://www.cdc.gov

The Pennsylvania Department of Health's Web site at http://www.health.state.pa.us

The Bucks County Department of Health Web site at http://www.buckscounty.org.

Information can also be found by calling:

The Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PAHEALTH,

or the Bucks County Department of Health at 215-345-3318.

shadow