Seasonal Flu

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Community Members

The flu (influenza) is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that attacks the nose, throat and lungs. Illness is usually mild or moderate, not requiring hospitalization; however, at times flu can be severe, even leading to death. It is not the same as the "stomach flu." Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on the virus and on the person's ability to fight infection. Some flu seasons are worse than others, and there is no way to predict how severe the flu season will be. Each year, a new flu vaccine is made from the three viruses that are expected to be present during the season. The best way to protect yourself from the flu virus is to get a flu vaccine every year. Check out the resources below for more information.

Healthcare Professionals

Help your patients stay healthy during the flu season! Recommend the flu vaccine to every patient and their family members, at every appointment, any time they are seen. This the sixth year of the universal recommendations for annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged 6 months and older. Check out the resources below for more information on the influenza vaccine, testing and reporting, surveillance, and infection control practices.

Long-Term Care

Influenza is often quite serious for individuals ages 65 and older. People 65 years and older are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu compared with young healthy adults. This is because the human immune defense becomes weaker as we age. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease.


The flu and common cold are both respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses. Because both illnesses have similar symptoms, and the flu virus affects everyone differently, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference based on symptoms alone. In general, symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense with the flu. The flu can cause outbreaks in schools, increasing absence rates and parental concerns. Check out the resources below to help prevent flu and its spread among children, students and staff.

Child Care

Influenza is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Children younger than 5 years of age - especially those younger than 2 years - are at high risk for serious flu-related complications.


Many adults spend 40+ hours each week at work. Thus, employers can have a profound impact on an employee's health and well-being. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has numerous resources to help businesses, employers and their employees learn about strategies to prevent the seasonal flu. Review the Information for Businesses and Employers to learn more and access free web tools and other resources.

Faith-based Organizations

Faith-based organizations play an important role in ensuring that accurate public health information is communicated effectively. Additionally, faith-based organizations may be able to reach populations that are traditionally hard-to-reach through mainstream media. Check out the resources below that support opportunities to share information on the seasonal flu and vaccine with members and staff.

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