Preparing for Flu Season

Notice

El Paso County Public Health will be CLOSED Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28, 2014, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. Ample supplies of influenza vaccine are now available. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response. Get vaccinated now so that you will be protected when flu season begins. In the United States, flu season usually begins in October and can last until May.

For El Paso County, Colorado 2010-2011 Flu Season
Influenza Associated Hospitalizations: 123
Pediatric Influenza Deaths: 1


2009-10 Flu Season
Influenza Associated Hospitalizations: 188
Pediatric Influenza Deaths: 1

 

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.


How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?
Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can be carried out, when needed to tell if a person has the flu.


What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.