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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

January 5, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The flu season is here and like a wildfire, it seems to be spreading rapidly.  Symptoms may include: A 100 oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever), a cough and/or sore throat,  runny or stuffy nose. headaches and/or body aches, chills. fatigue. nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children).

“The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms says Chief DiGiovanna.  It can be difficult to tell the difference between them.”  Your health care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.  However, the flu is worse than the common cold.  Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. 

People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. When should you seek emergency medical attention?  Seek medical attention immediately!

What are some ways to protect yourself? Avoid close contact with sick people. Stay at home when you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Washing your hands will help protect you from catching germs. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Drink fluids even when you feel well. Wash surfaces that are shared with others such as keyboards, telephones, exercise equipment, TV remotes. Exercise regularly.

For additional flu facts and prevention tips, visit: or