Seasonal Flu 2015-2016

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. The upcoming season's flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes influenza A viruses (H1N1 & H3N2) and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine.

The flu is contagious. People with flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

To prevent the spread of the flu virus, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. It also is important to wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand santizer. Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap and do not need to be cleaned separately. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work, and school especially if someone is ill.

Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after becoming sick. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that people may be able to pass the flu to someone else before they know they are sick, as well as while they are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.

For additional up-to-date information on Influenza, please refer to these health organization websites:   or