Influenza ("the flu") is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing and affects all ages with moderate to serious illness.
How serious is the Flu?
Flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from flu complications. Every flu season is different, and flu infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get sick from the flu and spread it to others.
When to get the flu shot?
The Center for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people get the flu shot as soon as vaccine is available and continue throughout the flu season, from October through May.
Who should get the flu shot?
Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu shot
, but it is especially important for:
- Children younger than 5 years of age
- Adults 50 years of age and older
- Pregnant women
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term facilities
- Health care workers, household contacts and home caregivers for high risk individuals