The Flu is a contagious disease. The flu is caused by the Influenza virus, which spreads from infected persons to the nose or throat of others. Other illnesses can have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for Influenza. Only an illness caused by the Influenza virus is really Influenza. Anyone can get the flu, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, the flu lasts only a few days. The CDC recommends that all persons aged ≥6 months receive a yearly flu vaccination.
The Influenza vaccine is recommended for:
- Anyone who is at risk of complications from Influenza or more likely to require medical care
- Anyone who lives with or cares for people at high risk for Influenza related complications
- Anyone who provides essential community services.
- Anyone living in a dormitory or under other crowded conditions, to prevent outbreaks
- Anyone at high risk of Influenza complications who travel to the Southern hemisphere between April and September or to the tropics or in organized tourist groups at any time
- Anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with Influenza or spreading Influenza to others.
Plan to get the Influenza vaccine in September (or when it becomes available). Getting vaccinated in December, or even later, will still be beneficial in most years.