Is it influenza (flu) or a cold?

Although influenza and common cold have similar symptoms, influenza tends to be more severe. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with influenza. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

What are the symptoms of influenza?

  • A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with influenza has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

When should I seek emergency medical attention?

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Seizures

Who should be vaccinated?

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control recommend that everyone get vaccinated for influenza, but especially those at high risk for complications from influenza. Those include:

    • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
    • Adults 65 years of age and older
    • Pregnant women
    • American Indians and Alaskan Natives seem to be at higher risk of flu complications
    • People who have medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney and liver disorders and others. For a list, see CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Contact our nurse triage line if you have questions about your child’s illness. This will help determine the best course of action to care for your child. If needed, we will schedule you for an appointment.