Your respiratory illness might be the flu if you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. However, influenza can also occur outside of the typical flu season. In addition, other viruses can also cause respiratory illness similar to the flu. So, it is impossible to tell for sure if you have the flu based on symptoms alone. If your doctor needs to know for sure whether you have the flu, there are laboratory tests that can be done.
The country appears to be headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades, with the number of cases rising at an epidemic rate that experts say may be a result of the ineffectiveness of the vaccine.
Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far — more than twice the number seen at this point last year, stated the Centers for Disease Control.
The number for the entire year will be the highest since 1959, when 40,000 illnesses were reported. Nine children have died, and health officials called on adults — especially pregnant women and those who spend time around children — to get a booster shot as soon as possible.
With West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet. Avoiding ares where mosquito live and breed altogether reduces your risk of getting the disease. Something to remember: The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low.
The risk of severe illness and death becomes higher for people over 50, although people of all ages can become ill. Read more about mosquito bite prevention.