What is influenza disease?
- Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus.
- The virus infects the nose, throat, and lungs.
- It can cause mild to severe illness, hospitalization, and even death.
What are the symptoms?
- Anyone can get flu and it strikes suddenly and can last several days.
- Symptoms of flu disease may include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose o Muscle or body aches
- Headaches o Fatigue (very tired)
- Vomiting and diarrhea
How does influenza disease spread?
- Flu is spread by:
- An infected person’s droplets from cough, sneeze or talk enter the mouth, eye or nose.
- Touching a surface or object with flu virus on it and then touching mouth, eyes or nose.
- An infected person can infect others 1 day before symptoms start and up to 5 to 7 days after symptoms start.
- Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.
How do I prevent the flu?
- Get a yearly flu vaccine.
- Wash your hands properly and often.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with arm.
- Clean and sterilize surfaces.
- Stay home if you are sick.
Where can I find more information?
- Ask your doctor.
- Call the Alabama Department of Public Health, Immunization Division, at 1-800-469-4599.
- Go to cdc.gov and type influenza in the SEARCH box.
Alabama Department of Public Health
Immunization Division, 201 Monroe St, Montgomery, AL 36104
1-800-469-4599 www.adph.org/imm 2/29/16