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Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. H1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness in people.

How you get the flu

  • The influenza virus is spread through the air by droplets from the coughing and sneezing of people who are already infected with the virus.
  • You can also become infected by touching an object with the flu virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

Frequent signs and symptoms

  • High fever (101º or above)                                   
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Non-productive cough
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Sudden onset of illness

Illness duration usually lasts 7-10 days.


  • Go home and avoid close contact with other people for seven days or until you are symptom-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. Remain at home or avoid contact with others until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (100º) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Try to keep three feet of distance between you and others.
  • Wear a mask as needed.
  • Rest.
  • Eat as tolerated.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.


  • Frequent hand washing.
  • Get the annual flu vaccine.
  • The flu vaccine also may decrease the severity of the disease and the risk of complications of the H1N1 flu.
  • Avoid contact with others who are sick.

Seek medical treatment immediately if you have the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Disorientation
  • Decreased urinary output