Influenza, or more commonly referred to as the Flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. These viruses are spread by tiny droplets in the air, created when people with the flu talk, sneeze, or cough. It should be noted that the flu is not the same thing as the common cold. The flu usually presents itself as a sudden onset of symptoms. These symptoms might include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, headaches, and fatigue. 

To view videos on cold versus flu symptoms or flu prevention click the links.

Prevention:

A yearly influenza vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. Everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu shot, but it's especially important for anyone at high risk. This includes infants & children, elderly, pregnant women and people with heart or lung conditions or diabetes.

Frequent hand washing, covering our coughs and sneezes, and staying away from individuals who are sick are other ways to reduce the risk of getting the flu.

If you become infected with the flu, antiviral drugs developed specifically for the flu can be used for treatment. They are most effective early in the disease so talk to your healthcare provider if you think you have influenza, particularly if you are in a high risk group.