Flu 101: What You Need to Know
What is the flu?
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu virus. There are two types of flu: type A and type B.
Flu can be a mild to severe illness which can cause hospitalization or death. Vulnerable populations are more at risk; these include young children, older adults, and those with certain health conditions.
Symptoms typically come on suddenly and most people experience the following:
Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Cough or sore throat
Stuffy or runny nose
Muscle or body aches
Vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children)
How do I protect myself against the flu?
Get the flu vaccine
Limit close contact with those who are sick
Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces
Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Who should get the vaccine?
Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each year, especially people who are considered high risk.
Getting vaccinated in the early fall is best because it takes about 2 weeks for antibodies to develop and offer protection against the flu virus.