For millions of people every season, influenza (flu) can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. Every year, flu spreads across the country, from person to person, among families and communities. The flu is a respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death.
Every flu season is different, and influenza can affect one person differently than another person. People at higher risk for serious illness include people 65 years and older, young children, and pregnant women.However, even healthy people can get very sick from the flu.
Actions to Take
Get your flu shot.The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot each year.
An annual flu shot is recommended because the shot is updated each flu season to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common. The 2019-2020 vaccine has been updated from last season’s vaccine to match viruses that are circulating now.
Practice good health habits.Cover coughs, wash your hands often, and avoid people who are sick. Eat healthy, exercise, and drink plenty of fluids.
Seek medical advice quickly if you develop flu symptoms. It is important that antiviral medications be used early to treat people who are very sick with influenza, especially those who have a greater chance of serious complications.
Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but flu activity can start earlier in the fall and continue as late as May. Take these actions to protect yourself, protect your family, and enjoy a healthy winter.