The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Signs and symptoms of flu:
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
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.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
Get vaccinated! There are also everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.
Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.