Flu Information

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Some people, such as people 65 years and older, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of serious flu complications.  There are two main types of influenza (flu) viruses: types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.

The best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting vaccinated each year.

Click here to go to Flu View

Influenza (Flu) | CDC

  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Young Children
  • Adults with Certain Chronic Health Conditions
  • Pregnant Women

People at Higher Risk of Flu Complications | CDC 

If you get sick with flu, influenza antiviral drugs may be a treatment option. Antiviral drugs work best when started early, such as one to two days after your flu symptoms begin.

Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms.  People at higher risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

When treatment is started within 1-2 days after flu symptoms begin, influenza antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They might also prevent some flu complications, like pneumonia. For people at higher risk of serious flu complications, treatment with influenza antiviral drugs can mean the difference between milder or more serious illness possibly resulting in a hospital stay.

The best way to reduce your risk from seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated every year.

  • Take everyday preventive actions that are recommended to reduce the spread of flu.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu.
  • For flu, CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine. Note that the stay-at-home guidance for COVID-19 may be different.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza. A full listing of people at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications is available.

Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, visits to doctor’s offices, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as make symptoms less severe and reduce flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different age groups.

  • There are several flu shots approved for use in people as young as 6 months old and older, and two are approved only for adults 65 years and older.
  • Flu shots also are recommended for pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in people 2 years through 49 years of age. People who are pregnant and people with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.

There are many vaccine options to choose from.

  • For people younger than 65 years, CDC does not recommend any one flu vaccine over another.
  • For adults 65 years and older, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine, and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. If none of the three flu vaccines preferentially recommended for people 65 and older is available at the time of administration, people in this age group can get any other age-appropriate flu vaccine instead
Monkeypox Rash on Hands

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV)

Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States

  • Infants and Young Children
  • Older Adults

Most people who get an RSV infection will have mild illness and will recover in a week or two. Some people, however, are more likely to develop severe RSV infection and may need to be hospitalized. Examples of severe infections include bronchiolitis (an inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia. RSV can also make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks as a result of RSV infection, and people with congestive heart failure may experience more severe symptoms triggered by RSV.

There are steps you can take to help prevent the spread of RSV. Specifically, if you have cold-like symptoms you should

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, not your hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils, with others
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and mobile devices

Ideally, people with cold-like symptoms should not interact with children at high risk for severe RSV disease, including premature infants, children younger than 2 years of age with chronic lung or heart conditions, children with weakened immune systems, or children with neuromuscular disorders. If this is not possible, they should carefully follow the prevention steps mentioned above and wash their hands before interacting with such children. They should also refrain from kissing high-risk children while they have cold-like symptoms.

Parents of children at high risk for developing severe RSV disease should help their child, when possible, do the following

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching their face with unwashed hands
  • Limit the time they spend in childcare centers or other potentially contagious settings during periods of high RSV activity. This may help prevent infection and spread of the virus during the RSV season
Click for COVID-19 Vaccine Information


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