Doc Talk: Flu Symptoms

In our weekly feature, Doc Talk, we're talking one-on-one with the Director of Emergency Medicine at Valley Children's Hospital, Geetanjali Srivastava about the flu.

We've learned the ER at Valley Children's can see more than 500 patients a day during flu season.


- Get vaccinated
- Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop, providing protection against infection with the viruses in that vaccine.

Almost all children who died from the flu last year weren't vaccinated.

While you may still get the flu, people who are vaccinated experience less severe symptoms and require quicker than those who aren't vaccinated.

- Avoid close contact (avoid close contact with people who are sick - and when YOU are sick, you're your distance from others)
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose
- When you sneeze or cough, do so into your elbow
- Clean your hands
- Washing your hands often protects you from germs.
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water aren't available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

- Practice good health habits
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat nutritious foods


- Fever
- Not everyone with flu will have a fever, though
- Cough
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body/Headaches

- Chills
- Fatigue
- Occasional diarrhea and vomiting


- Fast breathing/trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Signs include, not urinating (dry diapers in babies)
- Lethargy
- Not waking up, not interacting, listless, extremely irritable
- Worsening cough or fever
- Fever with a rash
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