Flu Season is Here.
Learn more about vaccine options and why everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated every flu season.
Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Approximately 20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year.
- Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February.
- Getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu.
- Flu-related complications include pneumonia and dehydration.
- Illness from seasonal flu usually lasts one to two weeks.
What is the seasonal flu?
Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death. In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
How does seasonal flu spread?
Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
Who is at risk?
Some groups are more likely to experience complications from the seasonal flu, including:
- Seniors (those age 65 and older)
- Children (especially those younger than 2)
- People with chronic health conditions
How can I protect myself from seasonal flu?
The best protection against seasonal flu is the flu vaccine. The 2015-2016 flu vaccine is now available.