Flu season will be bearing down on us soon and Poudre Valley Health System want to help you get more informed. Tomorrow they will present special online chat about this year's flu outlook and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

The chat will be held at tomorrow (Nov. 15th) at noon and feature Dr. Deric McIntosh, a physician at Foxtrail Family Medicine. What kind of topics will be covered?

  • How the flu virus spreads.
  • The difference between the cold and the flu.
  • Who should get vaccinated and who shouldn't.
  • How the flu shot works.
  • What other precautions a person can take to avoid the flu.
  • What to do if you get sick.

The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. While seasonal flu activity typically peaks in January and February, cases often begin to surface in October or November.

To join the chat, simply go to go to www.pvhs.org/chat at noon on Nov. 15. If you would like to submit a question for the chat in advance:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention symptoms of the flu include; fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Those symptoms can range from mild to severe. The virus can be especially dangerous for seniors, young children and pregnant women, as well as people with health conditions such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease.

Now, how can you tell the difference between a cold and a flu? According to the CDC you may not be able to, without testing.

Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can be carried out, when needed to tell if a person has the flu.