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Health Education

Medical Disclaimer 

Medical information obtained from our website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider. The sites listed have been selected because of their content value. Arnold Health Services offers no endorsement of and assumes no liability for the currency, accuracy or availability of the information. Some of these sites contain sensitive health information; some material may be explicit.

Public Information from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Symptoms  Cold Flu
Fever Rare

Characteristic, high (102-104F); lasts 3-4 days

Headache  Rare Prominent

General Aches, Pains

Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue, Weakness Quite mild Can last up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and prominent
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common  

Chest Discomfort, Cough

Mild to moderate; hacking cough

Common; can become severe

Sinus  congestion or earache

Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening

Prevention None

Annual vaccination; amantadine or rimantadine (antiviral drugs)


Only temporary relief of symptoms

Amantadine or rimantadine within 24-48 hours after onset of symptoms

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Influenza is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Children can have additional gastro-intestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but these symptoms are uncommon in adults. Although the term "stomach flu" is sometimes used to describe vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, these illnesses are caused by certain other viruses, bacteria, or possibly parasites, and are rarely related to influenza.

Avoiding the Flu:

  • Washing your hands with soap and warm water is ideal. However, using hand sanitizer or hand wipes when soap and water is not available is an acceptable substitute.

  • Avoid touching your face, it the mouth, nose, and eyes, are all entry points for viruses.

  • Coughing and sneezing are the easiest methods for the virus to be spread. Thus, avoiding close contact with infected persons is important. Also, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably into your elbow or a tissue, is a method of stopping the spread of the disease.         Exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep helps to keep the body alert, active, and able to fight diseases more effectively.

How do I find out if I have the flu?

It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. A test can confirm that an illness is influenza if the patient is tested within the first two to three days after symptoms begin. In addition, a doctor’s examination may be needed to determine whether a person has another infection that is a complication of influenza.

How soon will I get sick if I am exposed to the flu?

The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus to when symptoms begin is about one to four days, with an average of about two days.

Treating the Flu:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids rich in vitamin C, in particular, will help bolster your immune system.

  • Getting plenty of sleep is essential. NyQuil will help induce a restful sleep and relieve some of the cold-like symptoms.

  • Common medications such as Advil and Tylenol can help reduce pain and fever.

  • Cough drops or gargling salted water helps relieve the pain of a sore throat.

  • Taking a hot shower can help clear up congested nasal passages.

  • Visit Health Services with additional questions or concerns you might have about your condition.

  • Health Services also offers "cold bags", which provide basic medication for flu/cold symptoms.

How many people get sick or die from the flu every year?

Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that approximately 10% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and an average of 114,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications. About 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of flu.

Do other respiratory viruses circulate during the flu season?

In addition to the flu virus, several other respiratory viruses also can circulate during the flu season and can cause symptoms and illness similar to those seen with flu infection. These non-flu viruses include rhinovirus (one cause of the “common cold”) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the most common cause of severe respiratory illness in young children as well as a leading cause of death from respiratory illness in those aged 65 years and older.

If you think you may have the flu visit the IWU Health Service or contact your health care provider.

Flu vaccine available beginning in October.


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Go Ask Alice
National Institute of Health
Health Finder
American College Health Association

Sexual Health & STDs/STIs

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American Social Health Association
Center for AIDS Prevention Studies
Planned Parenthood
Society for Human Sexuality
Smarter Sex

Men's Health

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Men's Health
Men's Health Facts
Men's Health Information
CDC - Men's Health

Women's Health

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Women's Health
CDC Women's Health
Health for College Age Women
Wellness Web

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Health

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Medline Plus
It's Your Sex Life site page for LGBTQ frequently asked questions. Covers ways to protect yourself from STDs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page on LGBTQ
LGBTQ Health Access Project. Based in Massachusetts but has good poster resources and links. 
Human Rights Campaign that fights for LGBTQ Rights. Plethora of resources from sexual health to gay marriage to healthcare equality. 

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking in McLean County


Toll Free Telephone Numbers

  • AIDS Hotline, State of Illinois 1-800-AID-AIDS
  • National AIDS Hotline 1-800-342-AIDS
  • Endometriosis Association 1-800-523-8858
  • Headache Foundation 1-800-523-8858
  • Herpes Resource Center Hotline 1-800-230-6039
  • National Health Information Center 1-800-336-4797
  • National Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hotline 1-800-227-8922
  • Organ Donations, The Living Book 1-800-528-2971
  • PMS Access (Premenstrual Syndrome) 1-800-222-4PMS