All You Need to Know About the Flu

The flu is a contagious infection that attacks your respiratory system caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and can even lead to death in some instances. 

Complications from the flu can potentially cause bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, as well as worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

The flu can be classified into two main types: A and B, which can be found in animals like pigs, chickens, horses, and ducks.

In the U.S., flu season is typical during the fall and winter. Peak cases in recent years were reported during the month of February.

On average, about 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from the flu each year.

The CDC uses modeling to estimate the burden of influenza on society each year; measuring the number of flu illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths related to Influenza that occur in a given season.

Estimated Range of Annual Burden of flu

United States, 2010-11 through 2019-20 Influenza Seasons    

Some preventive actions to reduce the risk of flu contamination:

  • Get a vaccine shot every year. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Integrate hand hygiene as part of your daily routine.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces & objects that may be contaminated.

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Source: U.S. CDC

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