What Is Influenza?
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, chills, and body aches. In some cases, people who get flu may have no symptoms at all.
How Can I Protect Myself From Getting Sick?
The best way to protect yourself from getting sick is to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place. If you do become ill, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw away any used tissues immediately after use. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
When Should I Get Vaccinated?
Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Talk to your doctor about whether you should get vaccinated.
Who Should Be Immunized?
People at higher risk of complications from influenza include children younger than 5 years old; adults 65 years and older; pregnant women; people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and kidney disease); and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS.
Where Can I Find More Information About Influenza?
CDC provides information about influenza on its website, including how to prevent illness and what to do if you think you’ve been infected. You can find additional information online at www.cdc.gov/flu.