What is the Flu?
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.
Statistics on the Flu
In the United States, each year, 5% to 20% of people will get the flu, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized
from complications of the flu, and 36,000 people will die from the flu.
Seniors, young children and people with health complications are more at risk for the complications associated with the flu.
Flu Season can start as early as October and last through May.
- fever (usually high)
- extreme tiredness
- dry cough
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle aches
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea may occur
Complications of Flu
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions,
such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections.
Flu is transmitted in the droplets of moisture from coughing and sneezing. You can pass the disease up to
1 day before symptoms start up until 5 days after symptoms begin.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. Anyone concerned about getting the flu should get a shot,
but higher risk individuals should get a shot each year, as well as their caregivers.
High risk people include:
- 65 and older
- people who live in nursing homes or long term care facilities
- people 6 months and older with chronic illness or those who were hospitalized recently or those with weakened immune systems
- women who will be pregnant during flu season
- all children 6 to 23 months old
- anyone with heart or respiratory illnesses
Articles on the Flu