Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. An annual influenza vaccine, given in the fall, now is recommended for nearly everyone over the age of 6 months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The flu is a virus that infects the respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs). Flu symptoms often come on quickly. They may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and tiredness.
It also can lead to pneumonia and even death. Pregnant women, young infants and anyone with ongoing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the infection.
The flu spreads quickly this time of year because children are close to each other in school, share materials and may not wash their hands as often as they should. Vaccinations and good hand washing are proven ways to protect yourself and everyone around you from the flu.
Learn more from the CDC Flu Vaccine Fact Sheet.