Tip of the Day
Is it the Flu or Something You Ate?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu outbreaks can happen as early as October. If it hits you this month, ask yourself: Is this the flu, or something you ate?
Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is caused by a virus that infects the respiratory tract. Foodborne disease, or food poisoning, is carried or transmitted to humans by food containing harmful substances. But it's not always easy to tell the difference between foodborne illness and influenza, especially since both show similar symptoms.
|Body aches and pains||Common: headache and muscle aches||Common: headache, backache and stomach cramps|
|Fatigue||Common (and often extreme)||Common (and often extreme)|
|Gastrointestinal||Rarely prominent*||Common (often severe)|
|Gastrointestinal: Nausea||Rarely prominent*||Common|
|Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea||Rarely prominent*||Common|
|Respiratory: Chest discomfort, cough||Common (often extreme, can become severe)||Rare|
|Respiratory: Nasal congestion, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose||Common||Rare|
|Ways to Prevent or Lessen Risk||Annual Vaccination||Proper Food Handling|
*Although nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can sometimes accompany influenza infection, especially in children, gastrointestinal symptoms are rarely prominent.
For information on tips to reduce your risk of food poisoning, visit HomeFoodSafety.org.
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