Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications.
The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community. CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.
In addition to getting an annual flu vaccine the following preventive actions can help stop the spread of germs.
Flu vaccines are available through your primary care provider and at most pharmacies. Flu and other vaccines are required to be covered by your health insurance without charging a copayment or coinsurance. But, be sure to check with your insurance company to find out if you must go to a specific facility to receive the vaccine. Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations.
To find out where you can get flu vaccine (flu shot) type your zip code in to the Flu Vaccine Finder below:
The Cecil County Health Department provides flu shots, free of charge for any Cecil County K-5 student (including home-schooled) each fall at flu vaccination clinics. Click here for a list of vaccination clinics for fall 2017.
For more information about Influenza (flu) visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.