What is the Flu?
Influenza, more commonly known as “the flu,” is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing and effects all ages with moderate to serious illness. Each year more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and approximately 36,000 die from influenza-related complications.
What are the symptoms of flu?
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
How can I protect myself from the flu?
The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot each season.
Who should get the flu shot?
EVERYONE OVER THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS SHOULD GET THE FLU SHOT, but it is especially important for:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5 years of age
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term facilities
- Health care workers, household contacts and home caregivers for high risk individuals
When to get the flu shot?
The best time to get vaccinated is in October and November. However, getting vaccinated in December or even later is still beneficial because most flu cases occur between late December and early March.