It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions.
Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, symptoms last only a few days. They include:
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- runny or stuffy nose
Other illnesses can have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for influenza.
Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system – can get much sicker. Flu can cause high fever and pneumonia, and make existing medical conditions worse. It can cause diarrhea and seizures in children. Each year thousands of people die from influenza and even more require hospitalization.
By getting flu vaccine you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading influenza to others.Learn more about Influenza Vaccine