What Is It?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Symptoms are usually sudden and include fever, dry cough (that may last more than two weeks), headache, myalgia (severe fatigue) and sore throat. In children, it is also common for symptoms to include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Flu season usually lasts from September to May, peaking in January.

CDC recommends use of injectable influenza vaccines (including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines) and is again recommending the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) as an option. The nasal spray is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. There is a precaution against the use of LAIV for people with certain underlying medical conditions so always be sure to check with your doctor first.

Flu Season

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encourages people to get their flu shot by October during flu season.

Preventative actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.