Cold and flu season

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The flu is spreading around the United States, including Colorado. The CDC reports that the most common strain of influenza virus this season is H3N2, which can cause worse symptoms that last longer than other types of flu. On the bright side, the vaccine for this season appears to be a good match, providing a high level of protection for those who are vaccinated. If you have not had your flu shot this fall/winter, it is not too late. Flu shots are still available at the Southern Ute Health Center, as well as local pharmacies. If you are young and healthy, and feel that you may not be at high risk for the flu, it is still important to get a flu shot to protect the children, pregnant women, and the elders in your family who could get very sick if exposed to flu.

The signs and symptoms of flu can be a lot like the common cold. The important differences are fever, body aches, and fatigue that makes it hard to get out of bed.

Signs and symptoms of flu Signs and symptoms of common cold
·       Cough

·       Sore throat

·       Runny or stuffy nose

·       Headache

·       Fever

·       Chills

·       Muscle or body aches (often severe)

·       Fatigue (tiredness)

·       Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

·       Cough

·       Sore throat

·       Runny nose

·       Headache

·       Sneezing

·       Watery eyes



See your healthcare provider as soon as you have symptoms of the flu. There is medication available to treat influenza if the virus is caught early.

Prevention is the key to slowing the spread of influenza, stomach flu and colds, so remember to

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, after using the bathroom, and before eating.
  • Always use disposable tissues when you have a cold.
  • Get rid of tissues as soon as you’ve used them.
  • Do not go to work or school if you are feeling sick or have a fever.
  • Make sure you are up to date on immunizations, including a yearly flu shot.
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