What should you know about the flu?

 
 
 
 
 

How to recognize the flu, avoid getting it and spreading it

What is the flu (influenza)?

Influenza, also called the flu, is a serious and contagious respiratory illness that's caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, sometimes leading to pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections. Some groups are at higher risk than others, including the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions.

How serious is the flu?

Every year in the United States, on average, 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu. That equals 16 million to 64 million people. Influenza is a very serious respiratory virus that affects both children and adults.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that FluMist Quadrivalent not be used for the 2016-17 influenza season. We encourage patients and caregivers to have conversations with their healthcare providers about this year’s ACIP recommendation as part of discussions around influenza vaccination.

FluMist Quadrivalent is approved for eligible children and adults, ages 2 to 49. FluMist Quadrivalent may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated. Please scroll down for eligibility information and exclusionary conditions.

This is what influenza looks like by the numbers each year:

31 million visits to doctors' offices for flu-related illness

3.1 million days are spent in the hospital because of influenza

44 million days of productivity are lost

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Flu Season Tip Sheet

Learn a variety of flu facts, from how far the virus can travel on a sneeze to how many flu-related deaths the vaccine prevented over a 9-year period.

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Top Tips for Flu Prevention

Help protect your family this flu season by learning the ABCs of flu prevention: Annual vaccination, Being healthy handed, and Capturing the germs.

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A Family's Guide to Flu Season

Use this comprehensive overview of the flu to learn what symptoms might signal your child is sick and what options you have for getting your family vaccinated.

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Una guía familiar para la temporada de gripe

Utilice esta descripción general e integral de la gripe para identificar los síntomas de la enfermedad en sus hijos y conocer las opciones de vacunación para su familia.