What is the Flu?

Health Minute

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The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Sometimes the complications of the flu are mild but sometimes they can be quite severe. The CDC recommends people get vaccinated each year to ward off the flu. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than six months, including people with chronic medical conditions.

The flu is worse than a common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme fatigue, and a dry cough are more common, intense and come on quite suddenly. Some flu symptoms include:

  • Fever or feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea, though more common in children than adults.

According to the CDC, flu shots protect against the three influenza viruses most common during the upcoming season. About two weeks after vaccination, protection against the flu develops in the body.

Talk to your doctor about receiving the flu shot this season.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.