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What is Influenza (also called Flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killer in the U.S., resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses.

Learn about the health dangers of heat from the National Weather Service and how you can practice heat safety wherever you are.

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mosquito image
public domain mark image by James Gathany
As warmer weather nears, it is important to remain vigilant in preventing tick- and mosquito-borne diseases as you plan your outdoor excursions.

Along with the continued risk of contracting diseases already established in the U.S., climate change and increased globalization are expanding the geographical range of key vectors, such as the mosquito species that transmit chikungunya and zika virus.

Most vector-borne diseases have no cure so, when traveling into your back yard or beyond you’re only left with the choice of an ounce or a pound of prevention.

Fortunately, we can all take steps such as:
  • use an effective insect repellent on skin and clothing
  • wear long sleeves and long pants (when it's not too hot)
  • take care of our yards to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs
  • reduce brush, tall grasses, leaf litter, and harborage where ticks may like to hang out
Specific types of viruses and bacteria transmitted in this manner are described on the CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases website.

The CDC also provides educational information on approved repellents and other methods for preventing tick and mosquito bites.

EH&S Safety Short: Fight the Bite