Flu Vaccine Awareness Week: 2015-16 Season Info
Vaccine Fact Sheet PDF
Source: Centers For Disease Control Flu.gov
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.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever/feeling feverish/chills (though not everyone with flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
For the 2015-2016 flu season, vaccination for everyone 6 months and older is recommended. You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu: older people, young children, pregnant women and people with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.