Influenza: What you need to know

What is it? 

Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory infection caused by the Influenza A or B virus. Although seasonal influenza is a viral infection, complications such as pneumonia may occur in high-risk individuals.

Where can you get it? 

The flu is spread easily from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or touching contaminated surfaces. 

When can you get it?

Influenza season typically runs from mid-October to the end of April.

Who can get it? 

Both children and adults may be infected with the influenza virus. Individuals at risk of serious complications include young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with ongoing health conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

What are common symptoms? 

The flu is marked by the sudden onset of a headache, cough, fever, body aches, and weakness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur, especially in young children.

Does vaccination help? 

Immunization (the flu shot) helps prevent against developing influenza-related illness. You and any family members who are five years of age or older can get the annual influenza vaccine from your pharmacist. For children under the age of five, please speak to your primary healthcare provider about vaccination.

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