Influenza

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A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. The 2013-2014 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as young children, older people, pregnant women and people with certain long-term health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

How to Protect Yourself

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

There are two types of flu vaccines:

How To Protect You and Your Family from the Flu

The Flu I.Q. Click to Start Quiz

Prevention Tips

What to Do if You Think You Have the Flu

Your illness might be the flu if you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult your healthcare provider. Those at high risk for complications include people 65 years or older, people with certain long-term health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women and young children.