The following information is provided from the U.S. Department of Heatlh and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What is the flu?
The flu is an illness caused by flu viruses. The flu may make people cough and have a sore throat and fever. They may also have a runny or stuffy nose, feel tired, have body aches, or show other signs they are not well. The flu happens every year and is more common in the fall and winter in the U.S. People of all ages can get the flu, from babies and young adults, to the elderly.
How does the flu spread?
People who have the flu can spread the virus by coughing or sneezing. Droplets released when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. People may also catch the flu by touching their mouth or nose after touching something with the virus on it, such as doorknobs, tables, or an infected person’s dirty hand.
How can I protect myself from getting sick?
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
- Use medication the way your doctor recommends it.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or arm when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24-hours after your fever is gone.