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Influenza (Flu) Information
Influenza "flu" is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every
winter, usually between October and May.
Flu virus is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing
and close contact.
Anyone can get flu, but the risk of getting the flu is highest among children, pregnant
women, elderly and those with chronic health problems or certain health conditions
such as heart, lung or kidney disease, nervous system disorders, or a weakened
immune system. Flu vaccination is especially important for these people and
anyone in close contact with them.
Symptoms come on suddenly and may last several days. Symptoms include:
runny or stuffy nose
Flu can also lead to pneumonia, and make existing medical conditions worse. It can
cause diarrhea and seizures in children.
Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more
Flu vaccine is the best protection against flu and its complications. Flu vaccine also
helps prevent spreading of flu from person to person.