Influenza is super-contagious virus that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza is commonly called as flu.
What are Flu Symptoms?
You typically start to feel bad quickly instead of over time. You may have a high fever, headache and muscle aches, cough, sore throat, and tiredness. You also might have a runny or stuffy nose, chills, headache, and nausea or vomiting.
Who are at risk?
For most people, influenza resolves on its own. But sometimes, influenza and its complications can be deadly. People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:
- Young children under age 5, and especially those under 12 months
- Adults older than age 65
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
- People with weakened immune systems
- People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes
- People who are very obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
How the Flu Spreads
You can catch it when someone who has it sneezes or coughs, sending virus-filled droplets into the air that you breathe in or through contact with infected surfaces.
Get the Vaccine
That’s the best way to stay healthy. The vaccine helps your body to recognize influenza and fight it. Because the virus changes from year to year, you need a new vaccine before the start of each flu season in the fall. The vaccine cannot give you the flu. It can keep you from getting the illness or help keep your symptoms mild if you do come down with it.