What is Influenza

A first step in flu prevention is understanding what influenza is. The influenza or “flu” is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza is spread through droplets that are made when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in another person’s mouth or nose or be inhaled into the lungs during person-to-person contact. They can also be transferred to the mouth or nose after touching a surface where these droplets have landed.  

What influenza symptoms may include:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle and/or body aches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the best flu prevention is to get a flu shot every year. While the flu shot does not provide 100 percent protection against the influenza virus, studies show that symptoms are not as severe for those who still get sick after they get a flu shot.


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