Influenza Disease

Influenza Disease

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
    • Cough
    • 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 and type influenza in the SEARCH box.


Alabama Vaccines for Children Program - Immunization Division - immprint Alabama Department of Public Health
Immunization Division, 201 Monroe St, Montgomery, AL 36104
1-800-469-4599 2/29/16