About the Flu
What is the flu (influenza)?
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses and is can be highly contagious. The most common places on the body that can be affected consist of the nost, throat, and lungs. The illness level ranges from mild to severe, and in some instances lead to death. The most preventable way to avoid the flu is to stop by your local fred’s pharmacy and get a flu vaccine each year.
- A 100 Degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- A cough and/or sore throat
- A runny or suffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
How Serious is the Flu?
The flu is one of the most unpredictable viruses known. It’s severity can vary from each different season it appears depending on multiple factors, such as:
- What flu viruses are spreading
- How much flu vaccine is available
- When vaccine is available
- How many people get vaccinated
- How well the flu vaccine is matched to flu viruses that are causing illness
The risk of contracting the also matters on the person. Each person has a different level of risk for catching the flu and it can spread mainly through droplets that are made when people who have the flu sneeze, cough, or talk near someone who does not have the flu. These droplets have the possibility of landing in the noses or mouths of those nearby. You may also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has been infected with the flu virus and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine every new season. This recommendation has been set since February 24, 2010 when the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people.
While we recommend everyone getting vaccinated, it is especially crucial for certain people to get vaccinated:
- People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
- Pregnant Women
- People younger than 5 years and people who are 65 years and older
- People who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications