Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Each year an average of 36,000 Americans die from flu-related complications and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related causes.
While everyone is encouraged to be vaccinated, certain people are at “high risk” of serious complications. This risk group includes people age 65 and older, children younger than age 5, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions. While the flu vaccine is the single most effective way to prevent the flu, the risk can also be reduced with good hygiene and avoiding those who are sick.