What is Influenza?

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

How can I protect my child against the flu?

To protect against the flu, the first and most important thing you can do is to get a flu vaccine for yourself and your child. Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

Signs and symptoms of flu People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

How does flu spread?
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when
people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or
noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by
touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own
mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.