Flu: Transmission and Symptoms
Flu spreads through the air, in droplets and small particles emitted when infected individuals cough or sneeze. Flu also can be spread when someone touches respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches his or her own mouth or nose. Symptoms include high fever (102-104°F), headache, sore throat, non-productive and dry cough, muscle aches, some gastrointestinal problems, and extreme tiredness.
A person can spread the flu one day before he or she feels any symptoms, and remains contagious for three to seven days after symptoms begin.
Most people recover from flu within one to two weeks. However, others may develop life threatening complications, such as bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2004). Morbidity and Mortality Report, 53(RR06). Accessed 10/07/04 from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5306a1.htm
- Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza (Flu) Fact Sheet. Retrieved 10-06-2004 from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/flu.htm
- Douglas, R. G., Jr. (1975). Influenza in man. In E. Kilbourne, (Ed.), Influenza viruses and influenza (pp. 395-418). New York, NY: Academic Press, Inc.
- Spread of influenza germs in the air when someone coughs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 10-07-2004 from http://www.vaccineinformation.org/photos/flu_iac001.jpg
- Emergency hospital during 1918 influenza epidemic Camp Funston, Kansas (Image NCP 1603). National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. Retrieved 10-06-2004 from http://www.vaccineinformation.org/flu/photos.asp
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