General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Emergency Preparedness and Response

What is Flu?  

Flu is short for influenza, a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the complications from the flue can be fatal. In the United States, most flu activity occurs between October and May, peaking in January and February.

How does the Flu spread?

The flu virus is easily spread from person to person. When someone that is sick coughs or sneezes, droplets go through the air and may land on people and objects. These droplets contain the virus and if they come into contact with your nose, mouth, eyes or lungs you may become sick. Someone that has the flu can spread virus up to one day before they start to have symptoms.

How can I reduce my chances of getting the Flu?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccination each year. If you get the flu, there are prescription antiviral drugs that can treat your illness, if started early.
  • Early treatment is especially important for the elderly, the very young, people with certain chronic health conditions and pregnant women.
  • Everyday preventive actions my slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses, like flu.

What everyday steps can I take to stop the spread of germs?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine

How do I know if I have the flu? Maybe it's just a cold.

This simple chart can help you understand the difference in symptoms

Cold and Flu Symptom Chart

Be Prepared

During the flu season, be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a few days. Keep some over-the-counter medicine, alcohol-based rubs, tissues and anything else you need so that you do not have to go out while you are sick. If you are really sick or have other medical conditions or concerns, call your medical provider.

To find out when and where El Dorado County Public Health Community Flu Clinics will be in your neighborhood visit:

Flu Precautions